When I majored in Journalism at San Diego State (a few too many years ago), my professors instilled in me and my fellow students the importance of the First Amendment. The sacred trust given to the news media to be the investigators and reporters of events, issues and trends. Journalists are the agenda setters of the country. Editors and writers decide what’s important to report. They choose what stories go on page one.

The ability of a free press to tell all sides of the story, has changed dramatically over the past few decades. The role and status of journalism, along with other forms of mass media, is rapidly changing. When I was completing assignments in J school, there was no email, Twitter or Facebook. We researched our articles without the benefit of Google and typed them on word processors. If you misspelled a name, Professor Hartung automatically gave you an F.

This is the digital age. Many people gather their news from e-readers, smartphones and other electronic devices rather than from the printed page.

“At their 39th Excellence in Journalism Awards held at the San Diego Hall of Champions, the San Diego Press Club honored some 250 individual winners…” 

As many freelance writers know, it’s a constant struggle to get your words in print. When you are fortunate enough to occupy column inches, and see your byline, you’ve won a victory. Occasionally you’re recognized for being a journalist who–word-by-word, fact-by-fact–strives to tell the story, the true story, the entire story. 

That’s why I’m taking a few lines to toot my horn, as well as to salute San Diego’s gifted journalists. At their 39th Excellence in Journalism Awards held at the San Diego Hall of Champions this week, the San Diego Press Club honored some 250 individual winners representing more than 135 categories including radio, TV, newspapers, magazines and websites. Curious about who won? Click here for a complete list of the winners.

And just in case you’re wondering — you’re reading the First Place winner for Blog for/by Journalists.

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