Journalists just don’t like writing stories. Journalists like writing stories to win awards. Winning awards is the accreditation journalists need to prove to themselves that they made the right choice in picking journalism and not selling their souls by going into PR or becoming lawyers or doctors like their moms wanted them to.
For many journalists, winning an award is the pat on the back they don’t get from their desk editor for missing their grandma’s birthday to cover that protest or hurricane.
But more importantly, journalists like awards given by other journalists. It has less to do with being applauded by peers and more with rubbing the award in the faces of co-workers.
The quench for awards is so much at times that journalists find themselves putting off potential Pulitzer work to focus on submitting award entries.
And much like how Hollywood has its Oscar-baited movies (see “Beautiful Mind”), some of the biggest pieces of journalistic investigation are done for the sole purpose of collecting awards.
No prize is more sought after than the Pulitzer. A journalist would sell his mom’s house and his left foot for one of those puppies. But to make a journalist happy, it doesn’t have to be the Pulizer. Anything with a medal, trophy or public adoration will suffice.
So from the Pulitzer to state contests to the annual Northeastern Central Weekly County Awards, journalists like submitting their stories in hopes of winning, all in hope of getting a plaque that will adorn their cubicle and draw the jealousy of fellow journalists.