While most were enjoying, well watching, the Oroville Homecoming game last Friday, I was trekking down to Chelan to attend the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association awards banquet. From the final score of the game, I might have got the better assignment. We were fortunate to win a second place General Excellence award in our division and that says a lot for a newspaper that basically has a staff of three – myself, Charlene and Brent.
I can’t tell you how proud I am of the people who work with me and the many awards that they brought home that reflect so well on the Gazette-Tribune. Of course I thought they should have won a lot more – I’m biased, but they really did have a lot of great entries – I’m sure all of the other editors at the banquet think the same way about their staffs.
Brent Baker and Charlene Helm bring a great talent to the newspaper and I don’t know what I’d ever do if they decided to move on. Charlene has been here a long time and perhaps I take her for granted, but she is such an integral part of what makes the newspaper work that I couldn’t do without her. And she does much more than sell and create advertising – she helps to keep the office finances straight and subtlety reminds me when I’m forgetting something I should be paying more attention to. She also is so well connected to our communities that she is a great source for many of our story leads.
Brent is without a doubt the best sports writer and photographer the newspaper has ever had. He deserves all the awards he won and more. I also don’t know what I do without him – in addition to his talents for sports reporting and photography he is my right hand man when it comes to newspaper page design. I came from the cut and paste era where we literally cut out (with long scissors) columns of type and pasted (with wax) the articles and ads on to a dummy sheet. Brent has scads more knowledge about laying out the newspaper electronically than I have, but it is starting to rub off on me.
I guess what I am saying is that Charlene and Brent help to make putting the newspaper together each week a lot more fun and less stressful that it has been in the past. Staff no longer works into the into the wee hours of the morning to put the paper together. That alone has probably added years to my life.
I think with the staff we have now we will continue to get nominations for the General Excellence award and hopefully earn some more plaques to go along with the ones we now have. I know that Brent and Charlene will continue to do good work and have it recognized by both our communities and the WNPA.