Shortly before this issue went to print, I had the honor of attending the 57th Annual Jesse H. Neal Awards. The Neal awards are known as the Pulitzer Prize of business journalism, and to be nominated for such an award is a great honor. National Underwriter Life & Health‘s series of stories on the NAIC, which ran last November, were not only nominated for an award, but we were a finalist for the award of Best Series of Related Articles.
For several days leading up to the awards, I had a little acceptance speech going through my head. As it turned out, however, award recipients don’t give speeches for their awards; you just go up to the podium, receive your plaque and pose for a photo op. Sadly, I did not even get that opportunity, as our stories did not win a Neal. That honor went to Better Roads magazine, for their series on the state of bridges in this country. My hat goes off to Better Roads for a job very well done, indeed.
It was along train ride home after the Neals, I don’t mind telling you. I desperately wanted that award, not so much for myself, but for my staff and for National Underwriter in general. This book has a fine legacy behind it. A Neal award would add to that. But it’s okay. We’ll get ‘em next year.
Had we won a Neal, though, and had I been given an opportunity to address my peers, my speech would have gone something like this, for it is directed as much at you, the reader, as it is to anybody else.