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JOHN M. HUMENIK
SNA Board of Directors
N M. HUMENIK
The annual Editorial Contest attracts hun-
dreds of entries and a painstaking judging
process by faculty from Loyola University
Chicago School of Communications/
Journalism program has yielded first
round results - a distinguished group
of fourteen winners in the Editor
and Journalist of the Year catego-
ries. Each category has multiple
winners based on distribution
“Congratulations to the many
talented and hard working win-
ners in this category. Your com-
munities are far richer thanks to
your energy and zeal for the work
that you do,” said SNA President
Nancy Lane, adding that she
looks forward to honoring the
first place winners at SNA’s annual
Fall Conference. Details on that program
to come later this year. Full contest results
will be announced shortly.
EDITORS OF THE YEAR
This award recognizes those who have
made outstanding contributions to his or
her publishing company through strong
management skills, readership initiatives,
community involvement, innovation and
a commitment to quality journalism.
1st Place: Mary Lou Montgomery
GateHouse Media, Inc.
Judge’s comment: Understands editors
should do more than sit at their desks. She
is an advocate for her community.
2nd Place: Mitch Pugh
Sioux City Journal,
Lee Enterprises, Inc.
Judge’s comment: A visionary – Mitch
understands how news should be pro-
duced for different platforms
3rd Place: Gersh Kuntzman
Community Newspaper Group of New
Judge’s comment: An editor who under-
stands the needs and wants of the com-
1st Place: Clay Lambert,
Half Moon Bay Review,
Wick Communications Company
Judge’s comment: Clay has inspired a gen-
eration of newsmakers. He strives to make
the newsroom a classroom with weekly
post mortems and “kickers”. An editor who
exemplifies all of the good stuff.
2nd Place: Dan Shearer
Green Valley News & Sun,
Wick Communications Company
Judge’s comment: Outstanding mentor,
editor and writer!
3rd Place: Ben Cason
ThisWeek Community Newspapers,
Consumer News Services
Judge’s comment: Admired by staff
Honorable Mention: Dan Koller
Park Cities People Newspaper
Judge’s comment: He will put him-
self in any and all situations for the
JOURNALISTS OF THE YEAR
The SNA Journalist of the Year
award acknowledges journalists whose
work advances public understanding of
life with the communities they serve.
1st Place: Will Doolittle
The Post-Star, Lee Enterprises, Inc.
Judge’s comment: His 25+ years of experi-
ence benefits every reader. Doolittle is a
prolific investigative reporter.
2nd Place: Jennifer Mann
The Patriot Ledger
GateHouse Media, Inc.
Judge’s comment: A bright reporter who
excels at putting a human face on large
and important stories.
1st Place: Stephen Brown
Brooklyn Paper, Community Newspaper
Group of New York
Judge’s comment: Proves news can be
informative and entertaining!
2nd Place: Jeff Mitchell
Oshawa This Week,
Metroland Media Group Ltd.
Judge’s comment: A watchdog who will
pour over documents for the good of the
3rd Place: Bethany Rodgers
Post-Newsweek Media Inc.
Judge’s comment: Fills the all important
role of acting as a watchdog!
Honorable Mention: David Lea
Oakville Beaver, Metroland Media Group
Judge’s comment: A tireless reporter who
acts as a watchdog.
Honorable Mention: Catherine O’Hara
Metroland Media Group Ltd.
Judge’s comment: Tireless reporter with a
nose for news and how to tell it on various
Fourteen take editorial honors
If you have been following my offerings in
this space, it might not surprise you that I
would follow last month’s discussion about
creating a sense of urgency with the topic
The topics I have shared in an ongoing
series of columns range from creating a solu-
tion-based culture to developing innovation
teams to piling up wins and keeping score to
creating a sense of urgency by anticipating and
executing in a changing landscape.
Building and motivating great teams,
especially as complex as a newspaper and
digital media operation, depends on how your
leaders view available resources and manag-
ing the staff ’s efforts and intensity.
After all, you can’t have everyone
running at full speed in all
Staff energy, the human
resource vital to success,
must be managed care-
fully and respected.
Leaders must think of
it as the fuel that powers
You also have to manage
the priorities and the intensity
of the effort to reach goals. It’s as
important to agree up front about the
amount of energy required as it is to move
quickly once a decision is made.
Conversely, deciding what your team is
not going to do conserves energy for bigger
and more sustainable efforts.
To explain this I created a tool pictured
with this column. I use it often to demonstrate
primary strategies and secondary strategies.
But it’s most valuable in explaining when to
go full speed and when to slow down.
Across the top of what I label the “Intensity
Wheel” are three knobs with each repre-
senting the three most critical objectives of
the organization. And below are three other
objectives, or secondary objectives, that are
important. Any more than six objectives at
any given time is really too much.
How often do you hear from your staff that
it can’t take on any more projects? Employees
are overburdened or worst yet stuck by not
knowing where to focus all their energy. This
can happen because we are moving quickly
and experimenting along the way. It also can
become confusing and disruptive. Worst
yet, this confusion can quickly lead to fertile
ground for excuses and failure.
So, out comes the “Intensity Wheel.” The
conversation goes something like this: If we
turn all the knobs to wide open, we will burn
out the staff. Or even worse, we will break the
incredible engine we rely on most to drive
Now, if we open some of the knobs and
close some others we will manage the intensity
of our efforts effectively. I then demonstrate
by turning down or off three of the knobs and
adjusting the top three, leaving at least two
wide open. When one project is completed,
we add another to the mix.
While this may seem obvious, the dem-
onstration provides the point that we need
to be careful how we use the valuable human
resource and energy we have in our organi-
zation. It also proves the point that we are
in control, leading to an honest discussion
about urgency, pace and intensity.
A colleague explains intensity another
way, focusing on gaining an advantage by
anticipating and responding to opportuni-
ties. When he was a cross-country runner in
high school, his coach told him to see each
hill as an opportunity. While all the runners
were moving up the hill, the pace was slower
than running on flat land. That seems
What wasn’t obvious was
the coaching that came
next. He told his runners
to sprint at the top of the
hill for at least the first
hundred yards. Where
would he get the energy
after climbing the hill?
Where would he summon
the intensity to do what
many in the race didn’t expect
or desire to do?
His coach was highly focused and
very competitive. He also knew his runners
and their capabilities very well. While the
other runners were making shorter strides
moving up the hill, his runners had a different
plan. At the top of the hill, the runners, now
on a level surface, would sprint and move at
almost twice the speed of those runners still
charging the hill.
It illustrates when we need to turn up the
intensity and when we need to conserve
energy for bigger and more important maneu-
vers. And while a runner would never sprint
an entire three-mile race, knowing when to
go and when to conserve energy makes all
Take this simple challenge: Does your team
have all the knobs turned wide open, leaving
diminishing or depleted resources? And,
more importantly, what are your employees
thinking at the top of the hill? You will find
that having these discussions is a great step
in the right direction.
Your feedback is always welcome. Reach
me at email@example.com
Managing the intensity
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