Following are comments the judges made on the entries of the first-place winners of the 2010 Column Contest of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Here is the full list of winners.
General Interest Greater than 100,000 Circulation, Tom Rademacher, The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press: “There’s a feeling, you get when you’ve been caught doing something you shouldn’t have done, or when you are faced with a wrong that should have been corrected long ago, and somehow you know you are part of the reason it hasn’t been. It’s a gut feeling, and Rademacher put his finger on it, then pressed hard with tales that did not lend themselves to being put down halfway through. Now it’s the readers’ turn.”
Humor Greater than 100,000 Circulation, Stu Bykofsky, Philadelphia Daily News: “Three quite different, quite funny columns. The sarcasm dripping from the Octomom piece ruined one of my best t-shirts but I can forgive that. I loved the double entendres and editor’s notes about the sex study. And while interviews with God are frequently conducted, they seldom succeed as well as Stu’s. A winner in a strong field.”
General Interest under 100,000 Circulation, Sarah Fenske, Phoenix New Times: “These are hard-hitting columns that fulfill the noble purpose of journalism: exposing corupt public officials to the public scorn they deserve. Very well done.”
Humor under 100,000 Circulation, Jeff Girod, Inland Empire Weekly, Corona, Calif.: “Jeff’s ability to take large issues and use satire to make very good points results in giving us The Daily Show in print. We need more of this type of work.”
Online Column, Donna Terek, The Detroit News: “Through her words and photo-montage videos, Donna Terek shines a light on a Detroit outsiders rarely know about or see. Her stories are as vibrant as her subjects, and leave you with no doubt that there is more to Detroit than meets the eye.”
Blog Column, Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: “The variety of Roger Ebert’s subjects, the excellence of his writing, his humanity and sense of his mortality, and the clarity and depth with which he writes about each subject, make his work stand out and give it lasting value. His work will be part of his literary legacy.”
Herb Caen Memorial Award (notes/items), Michael McIntyre, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland: “In the tradition of Herb Caen, Michael embraces the threads, snags, and stitches of life that create the unique tapestry called us.”