Thank you Springfield Bloggers for awarding Branson Missouri Co-Winner of Best News blog.
The award is an affirmation of what users really want to see from the Branson Edge - News. The awards were invented by Larry Little of Simple Thoughts of a Complex mind. While in Springfield last week, I notice Little published a piece in the Springfield Free-Press. He's also regularly writing for the Springfield News-Leader as a conservative voice.
The other winner was KY3's David Catonese whose political coverage is unmatched. Thank you Dave for insightful coverage and helping us gain a clearer understanding of our government.
Other deserving nominees deserve a mention as well. The Life of Jason has inspired me to remember the value of kindness and compassion with his award winning post, "If I had a retard for a kid" - which details an interaction and gives us a peak at what it's like fathering a child with a disability. In addition, his coverage of Springfield City Hall has been innovative in a time the Springfield Press has turned their focus towards the core urban center of our region. We often complain about the fact Branson has been moved down on the totem pole in terms of coverage, but innovation in methods and approach to coverage help all of us with our goal of keeping citizens informed about the officials we've elected to serve us.
Jim Lee's Bus Plunge won the most improved blog, Lee continues to push the envelope with liberal sprinklings to public debate. Thank you Jim for challenging our prejudices and adding humor controversial topics.
Over the last couple months we've generated several other websites and formats have been generated for more contextual content. These sights will be streamed together for comprehensive coverage of the region and will be rolled out this year.
It's been interesting watching the corporate press utilize ideas and stories generated from this website. It's not unusual for me to attend a meeting or event where no press is present. Filling in the coverage gaps has been a big part of our format and expansion.
Last year, through the Branson Edge over 2,000 stories were generated for public consumption. The corporate press commonly asks me such questions as, "what is journalism" and is blogging journalism as they fight to become "Internet superstars". My path to technology wasn't driven by journalism but by technology that enables a better democracy. This was the focus of the early days of the World Wide Web and as an early netizen I'm proud to have been a part of the revolution. We dreamed a world with more freedom - that open dialogue and access could crush oppression - and it many ways it has
Hopefully, we're all fighting for the same cause, "truth - justice - the American way" (right?). A high ranking religious leader once said, a life not worth writing about is one not worth living - we should strive to make our lives of good report.
On the home front I want to thank the community of Branson for sharing their experiences and aspirations.
Three people who've reached out to me this year are heavy on my mind and serve as inspiration for me today. Jory Rolf, who has taken a lot of time to share perspective on what's important. Chris Meyer did the same by taking time out of a busy schedule to do the same by showing me. Leon Combs epitomized empathy and compassion opening dialogue and sharing a broad range of resources and ideas after a politically heated debate which we were on opposite sides of. All three of these individuals are better men than me - thank you for your example.
Thank you readers for keeping me from being a lone voice in the wilderness. I'm always encouraged by the e-mails I receive - most are of thanks, many are cries for help some are heated challenges. It's good to know that people care.
(Due to time restraints this piece will be posted before editing - generally a bad idea and will be altered this afternoon)