Awards for reporters and the like have always mystified me, as INXS once said.
The way I see it, it's a bunch of egotistical wannabe Piers Morgans blowing their own trumpets in a bid to distinguish themselves from other, probably more hard-working, reporters.
Look at like this; someone (and I've seen this happen countless times) could enter a very basic story, decently (not brilliantly) written and presented, for scoop of the year.
They win. Walk off with a £500 cheque and a CV that will look great with the Non-Company of the Year-Sponsored Scoop of the Year Award 2009 written on it (usually in 25-point Comic Sans).
But we-nup-schtik-cops-flag, or rewind, and you find the REAL story behind this award-winning yarn...
The reporter in question was at his or her desk, moaning to the news editor about working an extra 20 minutes on their "agreed shift pattern at my last appraisal for God's sake", when the phone rings and the news editor loses his or her patience.
"Answer the bloody phone," comes the yell.
"Humph, moan, piss, whinge, sigh, mutter, whisper," says the ever-so-predictable reporter.
The story, in fact, turns out to be a bit of a corker. The reporter saves it for three weeks, makes the basic calls required, before the news desk and the subs make it into what is eventually crowned 'Scoop of the Year 2009'.
Now, forgive me if I sound like a self-important tosser here, but surely that reporter has, simply, done their job and in a lot of cases, not even done it very well?
The story was handed to them on a plate, they did the very least they could to make it anything special, but because it was a good story, it wins.
I don't think this makes it a scoop, makes the reporter anything special, or deserves any reward whatsoever.
Quite frankly, having compared originals with some of these award winners, I would hang my head in shame when I got the published story when I compared it to my blacks, let alone consider recommending my work for an award.
It's a sham. A travesty. A joke.
And all it does is continue to produce reporters who think they are far better than they really are, while news desks continue to struggle with sub-standard work, because editors are blinded by the awards (they haven't actually seen any of the pre-desked copy) and think these little shits are the best thing since sliced bread.
So the next time you consider entering one of these things (I can't blame anyone, money is tight and all that), just spare a thought for your desk and the subs by checking the black of YOUR story.
And buy them a drink for Christ's sake if you win. Just before you hand in your resignation you self-promoting shitbag.