Why the Kona Blog Wasn’t On List of Invitees for HSPJ Excellence in Journalism Awards

I was curious to know why some blogs and websites were invited to participate in the Hawaii Society of Professional Journalist Excellence in Journalism Awards and in particular I was curious to know why the Kona Blog written by Aaron Stene was left out of the loop.

I even had a brief conversation with Aaron on facebook trying to figure out why he wasn’t part of it and Stene left the following comment on my blog about the situation:

I’d like to know why my blog wasn’t included on this list. The SPJ did e-mail me and asked that I submit articles for consideration. I respectfully declined.

I wonder if she wasn’t clear about this and it precluded my consideration?

I need to back Aaron up on this as even the letter that I received was very vague and I didn’t understand much about the awards or what they were asking of us bloggers.  The letter I received read:


We are taking the Excellence in Journalism contest online. The entries will be made over the Internet and the judges will review the stories online.

We have designated you as the contact for the entries. If you would want someone else to handle your entries, please send me his or her name and email address.

If you do not wish to participate, please let me know so I don’t bother you.

You may submit entries from now until March 15.

We have made many changes in this year’s contest, including an increase in the number of Internet categories.

Attached are detailed instructions in text format or Microsoft Word.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

So I myself was confused about the above email invite and sent back an email stating:

What specifically are you asking of me?

So then I actually called the representative on the phone and got some things clarified and then I was given a password to the site that actually worked.

Today I just got this email from the same representative of the HSPJ:

I got a query from Aaron Stene, who asked why I removed his Kona blog from a list of nominations for our awards program (based on your blog).

The people listed on the drop-down are people we are asking to see if they want to enter the SPJ contest. Aaron said he didn’t want to participate so I removed him.

Again, we are not nominating anyone. We are inviting people to enter.

If you could clarify that those Big Island sites were invited to enter, that would be great. The Kona blog was invited too, but declined.

4 Responses

  1. Ken,

    I’m curious if your comment was directed at me or Damon?

  2. Of course it’s all your decision, but it’s normal for awards in the press industry to ask for submissions (your best or most representative work).

  3. I would think that anyone with the desire to be called a “journalist” would understand the question and not misunderstand anything.


  4. Damon,

    I misunderstood the original e-mail the SPJ sent me.I thought they were asking for article submissions, not my entire blog? Nevertheless, I reiterated that I declined the nomination

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