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Let me reach around and pat ourself on the back

Given that the annual Federal 100 awards banquet is one week away, I have to say that awards always leave me a bi t ... well, perplexed. Awards are great if they recognize exceptional work, but often, people do work for the award. In the journalism business, there are people who actually instruct organizations to plan on stories for awards. I guess I just am a believer in doing good work week-in and week-out that provides readers with information that allows them to do their jobs better ... well, that's our main purpose.

That being said, awards are great. And later this week, Federal Computer Week, Government Computer News and Washington Technology are all up for prestigious Jesse H. Neal Awards. The awards are handed out by American Business Media and, as their site says, they are often called the "Pulitzer Prize of the business media."

Named after ABM's first managing director, who remained active in promoting the business press throughout his life, the Neal Awards were established in 1955 to recognize and reward editorial excellence in business media publications. Past Neal winners and finalists have tackled controversial topics including corruption, kickbacks, and political conflicts of interest.

The awards will be handed out Thursday in New York City. All of the 2007 finalists can be seen here [.pdf].

FCW has been a finalist a only handful of times, so it is very exciting. Both GCN and WT have won several times, so this is probably old hat for them.

Speaking personally, this is particularly reaffirming because FCW is is a finalist in the category of news coverage in recognition of our year-long effort covering the strife at the General Services Administration. This is a subject that we made a real priority.

I also want to give kudos to our sister publications: GCN and WT. In fact, WT is really stands out among us -– in the up to $3 million in advertising/circulation revenue, it is a finalist not once -- not twice -- but WT is a finalist is three different categories. Absolutely outstanding work. WT has been nominated for best news coverage for Alice Lipowicz's coverage of SBINet … for best theme issue for WT's annual top 100 … and then for best single issue of a newspaper/news tabloid. Again, just outstanding work! Congratulations to them.

In the category of $7 million in revenue – the same category as FCW – Government Computer News is a finalist for best single issue of a newspaper/news tabloid for the issue they did on Red Storm Rising about China's efforts to hack into government systems.

Everybody says this before the awards are handed out, but it is really an honor just to be included. (For what it is worth, FCW's competition is CIO Magazine and Reed Business Information's Professional Builder magazine.)

Like so many things, putting out a magazine is a a group effort. We are only are able to win awards if everybody performs well -– each and every person involved with the publication. So it truly is a team effort.

But I do want to specifically recognized the remarkable work of two people: Matthew Weigelt and Michael Hardy. Weigelt joined FCW a little more than a year ago and he has really done an outstanding job of covering the GSA issue. It is a complex topic, so it was not small task using that as a starting point for his coverage of government IT, but we determined that it was important because GSA touches so many of our readers. And Weigelt has really been on top of this issue. His stories have been aggressive, fair, accurate, timely and tenacious.

Hardy is also been an important part of our GSA coverage. Hardy, who has since moved over to Washington Technology, has been at FCW for years and has had such an influence in really crafting FCW's coverage on so many issues. Hardy really worked with Matthew and helped him with GSA coverage.

So ... we'll know on Thursday. Unfortunately, I will not be able to make the trip to New York because I will be here at FOSE. But I'll let you know how things go.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Mar 19, 2007 at 12:16 PM


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