Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Virginia Press Association?

Our attention was drawn to an article in the Roanoke Times several days ago announcing that several of its staff received awards from The Virginia Press Association. Congratulations to those staffers on bringing home the bacon to Southwest Virginia.

It did give Salt Lick pause, however to read that the VPA awarded former RT editorial staffer Geoff Seamans first place in the editorial writing category. We've no desire to rehash the bile that Seamans' poured out onto the RT's pages during his tenure there; he is gone. But given Seamans' penchant for ad hominem attack and self-indulgent prose, it does make Salt Lick wonder what the VPA is "all about." A visit to VPA's website doesn't offer much. The site seems to be indifferently maintained and the "rules" for it's annual contest gives no specific guidelines or standards on how entries in the editorial writing section are judged. A copy of the winning editorial is not as yet posted.

Given that the RT's editorials are not signed, Mr. Seamans could indeed have written an excellent, anonymous editorial worthy of an award, but there is precious little public information on the judging process. Salt Lick is unfamiliar with VPA. Does it judge editorials on political content or excellent writing? Anyone who knows, please inform us. We are only here to help. No one would want an award given by a Virginia press organization to acquire the reek of the Nobel Peace Prize, which these days is a political tool awarded to horny, old kelptocratic, terrorists such as Yasser Arafat and failed anti-American presidents like Jimmy Carter.

BTW, the VPA's "Contest Rules" list all major newspapers in Virginia and their circulation. See here for circulation numbers. Use the link to "Contests."