by Max Brantley
Journalism contests. Silly. See the Dallas Press Club scandal. See today's announcement of the Morning News of Northwest Arkansas as the best newspaper in Arkansas, at least according to "sweepstakes" judging in the Arkansas Press Association contest. The Morning News is a good newspaper. It vigorously covers its turf. It competes energentically against the billionaire-backed NW edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. But, day in and day out, it's hard to say the AD-G, with its giant news hole and its enormous staff (particularly in this day of newspaper staff cuts), isn't the strongest paper in the state.
But, hey. These judges must know something. They gave us some prizes, too, including first-place coverage over the biggest dailies in the state for coverage of education (our staff: 8. the D-G staff: 250). And a first-place for in free-lance writing, among some other awards.