By Dan Haley
OK, we won't know until June whether we won first place or sixth place in any particular category, but the early news is good out of the annual Illinois Press Association editorial contest.
Wednesday Journal and OakPark.com placed in 29 categories in the contest, we found out over the weekend. Admittedly, we enter any category that moves. But placing in 29 categories is not bad. Add in our sister pubs — Austin Weekly News, Forest Park Review, Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, Chicago Journal — and we've garnered 59 nods from the IPA.
The actual awards will be handed out at the press association convention in mid-June in Springfield. We'll be there to find out if we won some actual wooden plaques to add to our wooden plaque collection or if it is mainly third honorable mentions and the scraps of paper that come with such an honor. However it turns out, you can count on us to spin it to sound like we did great.
In this year's contest, we are up for General Excellence, best website, best editorial, lifestyle and sports sections. We're in the running in several design and photo categories. We are in the mix for government beat reporting, school board coverage, and editorial, and two old white guys named Ken and Dan are duking it out in the original column category. Four of our special sections are in contention, too.
A year ago, Wednesday Journal took home the trophy from the IPA contest which recognized us as the best weekly in the state in our circulation category. We shall see how we do this year.
Meanwhile, our crosstown competitors at Pioneer Press' Oak Leaves are up for honors in eight categories, including General Excellence, editorial section, editorial and website. Reporter Bill Dwyer, our former colleague here at the Journal, is nominated in the enterprise reporting category.
Check back in June for the results.