McKibbin’s Scribblin’s: I’m not bragging or whining |

McKibbin’s Scribblin’s: I’m not bragging or whining

Mike McKibbin
McKibbin’s Scribblin’s
Mike McKibbin
Staff Photo |

I had a chance on Sunday to relax and watch some football games – not counting the Broncos, who I always make time for – and it was the first time in more than a week I actually unwound.

I don’t mean to whine or brag, but things have been extra busy here at the CT recently. I hope it’s a good thing. Time will tell.

Most of my time has been spent submitting entries for the annual Colorado Press Association awards, an annual ritual for most newspapers across the state. It’s time consuming, very time consuming. But it also gave me a good chance to go back and look at each of the past 52 weeks of Telegrams during the contest period. We had some pretty good stories and photos, ads and even entire issues. I guess I am bragging.

The thing about contests like these is the outcome is totally subjective on the part of the judges. In my 15 or so years in this business, there have been stories I’ve written that I felt were very good, and readers had told me the same thing. But they didn’t win an award. Other years, I thought my stories were just a little above average and they bring in a first place award.

Who knows why. The judges are different year to year, which makes sense. But you don’t know what kind of day your particular judge had when he read and graded your story or photo. He or she was likely in a rush, since there are a ton of entries they have to go through.

And I’ve always struggled with the question of is it worth it? Do readers, our customers, care if we come home with more awards than others, or win the two big sweepstakes awards in our circulation category? Some might, most don’t. It’s nice to have awards on the wall and on my resume, and I guess it is a kind of validation that what we do in this business matters, that at least the judges noticed.

We’ll find out at the end of the year which awards we might have won, but not if we were first, second or third place until February, at the annual press association convention in Denver. I had a good time at this gathering last year, so am looking forward to it again.

Another encouraging sign – again, I hope – during this entry process was to compare the CTs statement of ownership, which is required to be published each year. I noticed some of the numbers from this year compared to last year seemed to show some growth in circulation, something that’s apparently pretty rare these days in this business. I hope that’s the case and may help validate all the hard work we put into each issue.

A couple other things to mention regarding The Citizen Telegram. As most of you probably know, we have a new publisher, and he’s a name you might recognize. Mike Bennett was publisher of the CT and Glenwood Springs Post Independent from 2004-06, and has spent the past three years as group publisher for Leader Publications, a group of community newspapers in southwest Michigan. I hope you have a chance to meet and talk with Mike in the near future.

And finally, longtime CT readers might also recognize a byline on our Western Memories and Citizen Spotlight monthly features. Amanda Miller wrote for The Citizen Telegram about a decade ago and is now a freelance writer in Colorado Springs. If you haven’t read her recent feature stories on the people and history of Western Garfield County, give them a read. I think you’ll enjoy Amanda’s story telling and the stories your neighbors tell.

Mike McKibbin is the editor of The Citizen Telegram.

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