On the same day that the LA Press Club announced the nominees for its fifth annual National Entertainment Journalism Awards taking place November 18 at the Biltmore Hotel, Nikki Finke explained why she and her Deadline.com team chose to boycott this year’s event. At the beginning of her post, Finke writes:
In my opinion, the LA Press Club seems more interested in collecting entry fees and selling gala tables to its entertainment awards contest than in rewarding high standards of journalism or conducting a competition with integrity. Tabloid media outlets which engage in ‘checkbook journalism’ are allowed to enter and in fact won NEJ categories last year.
Finke goes on to make a couple of valid points. Although the NEJ Awards have the word “National” in the title, this work-in-progress is still – perhaps inevitably – very much a SoCal-centric affair. Today’s list of nominees includes only a handful of non-LA outlets, most notably People magazine and Bloomberg Businessweek. Also, as Finke suggests, the NEJ Awards would benefit from a more transparent explanation of how the first place winners are chosen.
Unlike Deadline.com, the Los Angeles Press Club is a non-profit organization (that barely breaks even!) not only dedicated to quality journalism but also here to support and bolster the morale of journalists.
Despite Nikki Finke’s attack on the integrity of the LA Press Club’s National Entertainment Journalism Awards, the 2012 NEJ’s attracted a record of close to 300 entries, from more than 45 news organizations across the nation. This is reflected in the affiliations of the finalists.