bestlogo1.gifThe 2008 “Best of the West” journalism competition, recognized as the West’s most prestigious, is designed to reward journalistic excellence and to promote freedom of information. It is administered by the nonprofit First Amendment Funding and draws entries each year from journalists in the 13 states west of the Rockies:

Category: Special Topic Column Writing
First Place: Nikki Finke, “Deadline Hollywood” newspaper columns, LA Weekly
Judge’s comment: “Nikki Finke is a badass. Period. She covers Hollywood with a terminally jaundiced eye for the kind of ridiculousness that people in that world take with the utmost seriousness. Her line about Clint Eastwood, that ‘the geriatrics who still make up the majority of Oscar balloters love the guy cuz he’s still got a prostate and balls,’ is classic. I can even forgive the use of the ‘cuz.’ On ‘The Sopranos’ cut-to-black-ending, she wrote, ‘Maybe we should all register with the Writers Guild for our residuals, since we had to fill in the blank.’ Good stuff, written with passion and an utter disregard whether any of the studio heads, or anyone in ‘the industry,’ will ever buy her lunch.”

(This year, my category was judged by Mike Argento, columnist for the Daily Record in York, Pa., and president of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.)