by Max Brantley
Great story in the Dallas Morning News suggests that a journalism prize competition in Texas -- the Katie Awards -- may have been the rigged product of a "journalist" with a very active imagination and a criminal record. Funny thing. She won a bunch of awards herself.
The Arkansas angle is that, if the woman rigged this competition, she frequently chose Arkansas entries for prizes. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette often touts its Katie awards in house ads. No complicity is suggested, but the article does suggest that the discovery raises questions about the legitimacy of past awards and threatens the future of the contest.
It's a good read.
The D-G won four prizes in 2006 (including best sports column by Wally Hally), a year for which, so far, no legitimate judges have been found. The Little Rock AP bureau and Stephens Media columist John Brummett also picked up awards last year.