There’s an old adage held by journalists far and wide: That you don’t do this to win awards.
Journalists write stories and spread the news because it’s something they love. Reporting is a career that makes them whole as a person. Journalism, to journalists, is a duty to the citizens, and those who uphold the written word make it their life’s work to do the nation proud. Awards and recognition are, simply, just an afterthought.
At Tobacco Avenue, that isn’t the case. But they are very, very nice thoughts.
Today, RVANews.com, through the votes of nearly 1 billion Richmonders, has crowned Tobacco Avenue as Blog of the Year. All those hours spent trying to win something have, finally, paid off.
You see, with every word we write, every sentence we craft, each picture we post and every headline we tout, we ask ourselves, “Is this award worthy?” Apparently, that answer for the past year has been a resounding, “Yes. Yes it is.” If you’ve ever actually laughed or giggled on this site, that is wonderful, but that’s not really why we do this.
Your personal enjoyment through reading Tobacco Avenue gives us absolutely no satisfaction, whatsoever. It’s all about winning things, and, also, being able to brag.
Additionally, those who voted thought that a fake story about NBC12 anchor Gene Cox was more worthy of recognition than, in particular, a post by a photographer named Jake Lyell. He risked his life – nearly dying by machete – to capture some of the most harrowing, intense photographs of sectarian violence in Kenya, Pulitzer-worthy images that could go down as some of the greatest photojournalism ever documented in modern history.
As it were, Tobacco Avenue also defeated Mr. Lyell in the Blog Post of the Year category, on a story that we spent about a half-hour writing while taking comfort in that fact that, in doing so, we would not be stabbed to death and have our limbs torn apart and set afire by a disenfranchised young man wielding a dull, 3-foot-long knife in the depths of war-torn Africa.
That really means a lot to us.
Lastly, we do wish to congratulate all of those blogs in town that were nominated, despite our crushing defeat of all of them: Jack Goes Forth, Buttermilk & Molasses, The Checkout Girl, and several others too. We’re just getting kinda tired of typing.
We look forward to serving you in 2009.
Eat it, and eat it well.
Randolph J. Strummer Jr.
Editor & Publisher