Friday, July 23, 2010

Good News While I Was Gone

Might not mean a lot to any of you, but while I was gone the Houston Press Club, a big deal here in Texas, named me Print Journalist of the Year for last year's body of work. I also took first prize in the Public Service category for my work on the Barnett Shale gas drilling going on her (and the multiple attendant problems) and a second in the Politics/Government category for my investigation of the Tarrant County, TX, Medical Examiner's office. Here's what the judges had to say on the two first place pieces.

2010: 1st Place, Houston Press Club Lone Star Awards, Print Journalist of the Year (Sacrificed to Shale, Dissecting the Evidence, Renaissance on the Rails). Judges Comments: “Gorman showed a powerful range of both digging and storytelling that easily draws the reader in. His “Sacrificed to Shale” package shows his ability to connect the dots, interview a wide number and range of sources and tell a clear and efficient story. His piece on the hobo keeps you reading, wanting to know more about the character. It was a finely done profile that showed the main character’s flaws and passion.”

2010: 1st Place, Houston Press Club Lone Star Awards, Public Service (Sacrificed to Shale). Judges Comments: “Clearly, Gorman’s depth of knowledge and breadth of reporting has helped change the public debate about the shale industry that has destroyed one small town and could destroy more. The writing is clear, the subjects speak directly so that something so complex and unruly as shale gas drilling is quickly understood.”

2010: 2nd Place, Houston Press Club Lone Star Awards, Politics/Government (Dissecting the Evidence).


I also got my first taste of first place winning on the national level when I took first prize in the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN) national contest for Best Feature Story of the year for my piece Renaissance on the Rails, about my friend Bo Keely, a former national champion at paddleball, veteranarian, author and inveterate hobo. Then, with two colleagues from the Fort Worth Weekly, Dan McGraw and Jeff Prince, we won the prestigious Public Service Award for our cumulative work on the natural gas drilling going on here.
Those are my two firsts nationally and I'm very very proud and humbled to have won them. The competition was incredible. We were up against every other weekly newspaper in the US and Canada, our real peers, and to be chosen out of all those fantastic journalists was remarkable.
Yes, I'm bragging. But I'm also humbled. I hope the awards keep me focused on making the extra ten phone calls that every good story needs. And I want to thank my editor, Gayle Reaves, who pushed and pulled me and demanded the extra yard. And I want to thank Margaret Allison, our copy editor, who knows how to polish me up to a fine shine. She was also the last editor on my book and after three other professionals had a go at it she still found 84 errors. She is a tiger and without her and Gayle, I wouldn't have won those prizes.
Still, I'm damned proud to have broadened the debate in some arenas where there was little public debate. I'm glad the digging got noticed and the work was worthwhile.
And a last big thank you goes out to all of you, of course. If you didn't read this, didn't comment, didn't keep me in line, well, I'd be more full of shit than I am. So thank you.


The Grudge said...

Congratulations Peter! I am happy for you. I finished your book recently and though it was great. You most definitely deserve praise for your writing.

TXsharon said...

Well deserved, Peter! Thank you for always going that extra mile and making those extra phone calls.

Kuchinta said...

Well done, sir! :)