FROM THE EDDIE-TOR Aztec Press continues winning ways

By EDDIE CELAYA

Now that you’ve had two months to adjust to our new look and your new school schedule, it’s time to get down to business and crack the whip. We here at the Aztec Press are doing the same and getting competitive about it.

Numerous journalistic associations, both statewide and regional, hold contests in which they judge everything from stories to photos to layout.

I’ve been on staff since spring semester. If there is one thing I’ve learned (other than not to leave my Facebook account open in the newsroom), it’s that we take awards seriously.

This approach suits me well as editor. Why? Consider this little story from my past.

When I was about 7, my youth baseball team lost the coach-pitch championship. I was so incensed at my own team that, after the obligatory parent tunnel run-through, I let them have it.

Never mind that my father was the coach.

“I carried you all season for nothing,” my dad recalls me saying. When one child dared to speak up and tell me that I didn’t know it all, I let him know otherwise. I believe I said, “Actually, I pretty much do, you idiot.”

From that age, it was obvious: I love to win. That, and team sports probably weren’t for me.

Last semester, the Aztec Press won something even bigger than a coach-pitch age group championship. In our student publication category, the Society of Professional Journalists named us the All-Around Best Non-Daily Newspaper in Region 11.

That’s a pretty big deal folks. It means our paper, from our little corner of the Old Pueblo, is a regionally recognized publication. It feels pretty good.

But it doesn’t end there.

We recently received a manila envelope containing a few plaques. Winners’ plaques, baby. Plaques we didn’t even know were coming.

Another of those associations, this time the Arizona Newspapers Association, also decided the Aztec Press is a pretty decent rag.

We claimed a first-place award and a third-place prize in the Better Newspapers Contest, competing statewide against newspapers in the “non-daily, circulation 3,500-10,000” category.

Photographers Larry Gaurano and Alex Fruechtenicht shared first place for Best Feature Photo Layout. The award honored their work on last fall’s “All Soul’s Procession” page design.

Larry has moved on and sold out to corporate America, but Alex is still in the newsroom as a class assistant. We are proud of both of them, and know that we must live up to their accomplishments and hard work each issue.

Reporter Danyelle Khmara, who now attends the University of Arizona, and the Aztec Press won third place for “enterprise reporting.” Despite sounding like a starship, the award honors Khmara’s coverage of the Rosemont and Oak Flat mine proposals.

Keep those awards in mind when you’re thumbing through or surfing around this issue of the Aztec Press. You may just have a prize-winning photog or writer clueing you into what’s going on, what matters and, of course, who’s winning.

Happy reading.

Filed Under: Opinion

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