Beyond our wildest dreams, we broke a record this May by winning six awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, and also sweeping all three awards (first to third place) in the editorial and commentary category.
In the past, we never won a first-place SPJ award in writing. At most, we garnered two SPJ awards annually, and we felt content. In the alternative newspapers category, we were competing with big guys like the Puget Sound Business Journal and Seattle Weekly. With only two full-time staff at the NW Asian Weekly to take care of both the print edition and the website, we are several times inferior in manpower, resources, and circulation among the alternative newspapers. Thanks to the hard work of editor Stacy Nguyen and layout editor Han Bui, we are able to accomplish the impossible.
Unfortunately, awards don’t translate into sales. What they do, however, is reinforce our passion and boost our morale during tough times. A reader told me she cried when she read an article of mine last year. That is enough to motivate me to write every week. Another said my recent blog on pushing the diversity question with UW presidents encouraged her to bring up the same question with her boss at a staff meeting. That kind of feedback instantly makes me smile.
Coincidentally, in May, we received an order from the Seattle Mariners through an advertising agency who was able to convince them to reach out to the community. Uwajimaya is promoting a re-design grocery bag contest and uses the Asian Weekly to publicize the event. What a great marketing strategy!
Well, every cloud has a silver lining. Somehow, the lining came to us unexpectedly last month. ♦