In the category of good news/bad news, we have a journalism item for you. Five employees of The Houston Chronicle won first place recognition over the weekend in the annual Texas Associated Press Managing Editors journalism competition, the most ballyhooed in-state contest in the insular, self-congratulatory world of newspapering.
Unfortunately, two of the five Chron winners were among those laid off a month ago.
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We're speaking of Claudia Kolker, who won a first place prize for editorial writing, and Jorge Luis Sierra, who won a first place news award for La Voz, the Spanish language newspaper owned by the Chronicle.
We have no idea if the Chronicle might have spared the two journalists had it known of their statewide recognition, but you can't help but wonder if it would have helped when the job cuts came down. It certainly wouldn't have hurt.
Still, to be fair to the Chronicle, three of their first-place winners remain on the payroll: Dwight Silverman, who was named best blogger; Dan Pritchett, who took a first in headline writing, and Alberto Cuadra, who won a first place for infographics.
Congrats to all, but especially to Kolker and Sierra, who we hope get some solace from what amounts to posthumous medal of honor following their unfortunate dismissals.