Vote of Confidence

The votes are in.

No, not for Cleveland’s next mayor.

That political scrum kicks off in earnest on Labor Day with Stephanie Tubbs Jones’ parade. For savvy politics watchers, it’s one of the early indicators about the candidates and their campaigns — which ones have mustered a grass-roots network or garnered early heavyweight support. In fact, it’s one of associate editor Erick Trickey’s “10 Keys to the Mayor’s Race,” our guidebook for following the campaign ahead (see page 110). We’ll also introduce you to the seven major candidates through interviews conducted at their favorite spots in town (see page 114). And, since we get the sense that the city would like something more from the current field, we’ve collected opinions from some notable Clevelanders on who — or what attributes — they’d like to see in the next mayor (see page 118).

Actually, the votes are from our peers — journalists from across the country who served as judges in the annual Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards presented by the Press Club of Cleveland and the statewide Society of Professional Journalists Awards.

And we’re certainly happy with the results, which were announced over the summer.

In fact, Cleveland Magazine’s seven first-place honors and 16 total awards in the Press Club competition were more than any other magazine in the state.

Especially notable was the work of Colleen Mytnick, who took first and second place in the personality profile category with “The State of Grace” and “The Divorcing Woman’s Best Friend.” The judges said of her work: “Excellent writing, tight and fast-moving. Descriptive [and] crystal-clear.”

The magazine also captured first and second place in two other writing categories: general features and consumer features.

Marina Takahashi’s “The Price of Liberty,” a story of wartime hysteria and life in World War II internment camps for local Japanese-Americans, stood out in a very competitive general features category. “A frightening story, graphically told,” the judges commented. Erick Trickey’s “How the West End Was Won” was the category’s runner-up.

The “Gallery Guide” by Emily Rueb, a primer on buying art and Cleveland’s galleries, and Jim Vickers and Diana Vanucci’s guide to fitness centers were recognized as first and second for consumer reporting.

Other first-place writing winners included Dan Hanson for technology writing with “Net Zero or Dating Hero,” Erick Trickey for his lifestyle column “The Haunting,” and Dave “Coondog” O’Karma for his essay “Dog Eat Dog” (which, the judges said, “resonates with all us mid-40s hangers-on”).

Jacqueline Marino’s “Poverty Behind Picket Fences” earned a second-place finish in public service/investigative reporting, while Michael von Glahn’s “The Kitchen” was runner-up in food writing.

On the visual side, the magazine captured first and second respectively in portrait/personality profile photography with Walter Novak’s “A Mother’s Choice,” a dramatic photo of a tearful Amina Silmi, and Jeremiah Hull’s “Veni, Vidi, Vega.”

Masumi Hayashi’s photos that accompanied “The Price of Liberty” earned a runner-up for multiple images, while Zachary Pullen’s illustration “The Year in LeBron” also took second in its category.

The Press Club also recognized the magazine as an honorable mention for best magazine in Ohio.

In the SPJ competition, Cleveland Magazine earned a first-place finish in consumer reporting for our annual “Rating the Suburbs.” The judges commented: “The magazine does a stellar job of rating communities based on their schools, safety and other factors.”

Jacqueline Marino’s “Poverty Behind Picket Fences” captured top honors for social justice reporting. The judges called her look at the hidden poverty in Cleveland’s suburbs “well crafted” and “an unusual look at a different aspect of economic distress.”

Jim Vickers’ “clean and colorfully written piece” about Mark Winegardner, “Cleveland’s Godfather Returns,” claimed first place for arts profile. It covered “a lot of ground, respecting the subject without fawning over him,” according to the judges.

Also recognized were Marina Takahashi’s “The Price of Liberty” for coverage of minority issues and Colleen Mytnick’s “State of Grace” for human-interest writing.

Congratulations to all the winners.

And get ready for an interesting vote ahead.     

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