Congratulations to me on my new award

Feb. 19, 2014  PLYMOUTH EAGLE.




By: Susan Willett, Publisher

Associated Newspapers of Michigan


“Yep, you are reading the work of a real superstar now. Are you impressed?”


Whether you realize it or not, you are now reading the work of a genuine celebrity. I am pleased to announce that I have been named Journalist of the Year by the prestigious National News Writers Association. Yep, you are reading the work of a real superstar now. Are you impressed?

I have been named the best of the best and nobody even came close to beating me out for the honor. That may be because I was the only one in the competition, but hey, you take your glory where you can get it, right?

Now, some people, those in my league of cynicism, may be asking, what is the National News Writers Association? Mighty fine question, that, particularly since I made up the name and am the only member of this imaginary group.

No wonder I won, right?

I decided to take this step after reading about several honors bestowed by some less-than-well- known groups on a couple of our local communities and on some local services. I thought to myself, hey, if some internet app that has never set foot in the community they are honoring can choose the best community in the state, why can’t I form a group and honor my own self, too. I mean, let’s face it, nobody else is going to do it. Seriously.

I suspect that’s also the reason some of these “honors” have been so overplayed locally. The crackerjack officials in these municipalities figure if some unknown internet apartment locator application in Toronto is going to honor them, they might as well take advantage of it and make as big a deal as possible. Like me, they know legitimate trade organizations and groups might have standards just a bit higher than these less-than-credentialed entities. They figure nobody is going to look these groups up on the internet and discover exactly what qualifications members and officers may have for choosing the honorees. And, since bad publicity and “unfortunate incidents” are as prevalent in their communities as bovine residue on a dairy farm, they opted to make the most of any good words that came their way.

Hey, me too, on both counts.

But, unfortunately, in an effort to publicize these same municipal honors and ratings, I did look the group and organization up and almost lost control of my bodily functions laughing when I saw the results.

One of my favorites is a particular group of “former public safety officials” who rated the public service performance of a local community. These guys said the community is doing just fine and is performing within the “new model.” Of course, these are the same guys who dreamed up the “new model” and sold the adoption of it to the city. One of them was employed by a company that is making a bundle from the use of this plan.

I suspect nobody has asked people who have been subjected to some of the services using the “new model” to rate them, either. I can sorta guess what they think about the tiered response times while they wait for emergency medical services and a cop with a first aid kit and a portable defibrillator in the patrol car trunk shows up rather than an ambulance. But, hey, I’ve been wrong before, although I’d appreciate it if that weren’t mentioned at my upcoming award presentation.

I also discovered that the group who chose a local township as one of the best places to live in the state was nothing more than an internet computer application, and my disillusionment was complete. These people never set foot in the community they honored with the title but based their opinion on demographics, unverified statistics, random comments and the census. Nobody has ever seen them and no former honorees know how to find them, other than at the handy computer site.

But, hey enough about them, let’s get back to something important, my newly-acquired honor.

See, now I have to decide exactly what kind of plaque to get engraved for myself to hang on my office wall, y’know, now that I am such a big damn deal. Then I need a nice venue for the presentation ceremony where I talk about all my accomplishments before I hand myself the award.

Geez, now I gotta work on an acceptance speech.

|News Plymouth Michigan

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