Excellence amidst the highs and lows | SierraSun.com

Excellence amidst the highs and lows

Jamie Bate

If you were to chart the ebb and flow of a newsroom, it’d look something like the EKG of a hypertensive narcoleptic ” spiky highs punctuated by unexpected, sleepy lulls.

Just about 16 months ago the Sierra Sun became a five-day daily, so the collective heart rate of the Tahoe City and Truckee newsrooms has bounced around pretty good during that time. From the rush of covering the Washoe Fire at Tahoe Park and the Interchange Fire in Truckee, to the slow dog days of summer, the staff at the paper has endured it all. (Did I mention the random rants ” some deserved, some not ” by readers?)

As our esteemed leader George W. told us (over and over) during the 2004 debates, being president, like being a community journalist, can be a hard job. I know, making the decision to invade a sovereign country and deciding whether to cover the ArtBark Fest is a bit apples-to-oranges, but I think you get my point. And if you’re about to fire off a missive informing me how easy we’ve got it, well, there ya go.

Anyway, the heart rate of the newspaper ” well, mine at least ” got a little perky on Saturday during the Nevada Press Association awards ceremony in Reno when the Sierra Sun won General Excellence top honors for daily newspapers with circulations of 15,000 or less. Other than proximity to the state line, I’m not really sure why the Sierra Sun belongs to the Silver State’s press association, but the accolade is gladly accepted nonetheless.

Despite our mountain locale, maybe the Nevada-based judges got it right with their characterization of our readership.

“This paper knows how to get the daily tabloid format right for a suburban audience. A variety of news on front page and good design throughout the paper (loved the treatment on the datebook and calendar section). The special report in the Feb. 23, 2007, issue was a special treat!”

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That “treat” was reporter Greyson Howard’s look into whether Placer and Nevada counties should merge into California’s 59th county. Check it out at http://www.sierrasun.com/article/20070223/NEWS/70222009.

Congratulations to the whole crew at the Sierra Sun for the honor. You’ve earned it.

And if you’re a reader whose heart rate has spiked because some journalism judge in Vegas has pegged you as a suburbanite, call him or her ” not me. Remember, I have a hard job.