In Sports a team wins or loses each time they play the game. The players are eligble for MVP awards that are decided by the press. The more games a team wins, the better the chance for that team to go to the Championship.
In TV news it is a similar challenge to win or lose the 'game'. TV, however, is scored by the number of viewers, which in comparison, would be like declaring the team that sells more tickets the winner.
So for TV stations and the staff that pour their creative souls into work that make newscasts and promotions attract the viewers to the 'game', the wins come in the way of awards and accolades. The best kudos come from the viewer in the form of calls and letters. But then there is the solicited recognition from a group of peers.
The choices of awards are as varied and diverse as the number of channels you can watch on cable these days.
Some of the top awards to win are Emmy's, Edward R. Murrow, State Associated Press, and for us Photojournalists there is the National Press Photographer's Association, the NPPA.
To win these acolades you have to compile an entry, fill out the paperwork, and in most cases pay exhorbenant entry fees.
Nothing like being a narcissist, is there? But one thing is for sure, nobody is going to knock down the door to bring the awards to me.
So, are these plaques, trophies and certificates that recognize short term achievment self serving? I don't really think so.
So far in my career of a short 11 years I have recieved three NC AP awards, been nominated for one Emmy, won an Edward R. Murrow, and just recently recieved a Regional NPPA Second place for Spot News.
And you can rest assured that now that 2004 is over, I have a box load of tapes ready to ship to the various enities of TV distinguishment.
I have always thrived on accomplishment, and short of actually getting the story on the air on a daily basis, the next thing to work toward is perfection in the craft and then submit the best work for judging.
Having a lofty goal keeps me from slacking off and it forces me to seize the next level of proficiency. The ideal story isn't feasible in every situation, nor on every story everyday, but if I set the objective to do great work, then as stories come and go, I won't miss opportunities to tell stories unequaled by my photojournalist counterparts. And by the end of the year I will have a reel of great work, and maybe a few more awards to hang on the wall.