OK, it isn't a Pulitzer prize.
But pretty darn close: the Salem Business Journal has awarded A.P. Walther, publisher of Salem Weekly, the first SBJ Media Environmental Award for outstanding coverage of environmental topics.
When I see a fresh issue of the monthly SBJ, I usually pick one up -- since they lurk in a free box on the Court Street sidewalk next to a Salem Weekly box where I'll also score a bi-weekly free copy.
The Salem Business Journal is considerably less progressive than Salem Weekly, this town's alternative paper. Yet whoever wrote the award story did a pretty good job.
Since April 2003 Walther and his newspaper have effectively covered a vast range of environmental issues. A.P. has more than just a passion for earth friendly reporting, for him it's a mission.
Nothing stands in his way. As Editor and Publisher of Salem's only alternative newspaper he has taken on big banks, big government and big business. For more than ten years he has proven his dedication to all that is green or is not green.
Those in our community that know Walther, respect his values, opinions. Look for future strength in numbers with the addition of the Salem Weekly "Editorial Board" including: Lois Stark, Richard Reid, Russ Beaton, Jim Scheppke and William Smaldone.
The green community thanks you A.P. The SBJ is very proud to present you with our first annual "Media Environmental Award."
Way to go, A.P.!
I enjoyed the photo of him that accompanied the story. There A.P. is, pursuing his cutting-edge investigative journalism on a -- I am not kidding you -- corded phone.
I wasn't even aware they still existed. However, I did know that Salem Weekly needs some upgrading of its office equipment, and that photo proves the point.
(See my December post, "Make a donation to Salem Weekly. Here's how and why.")
As well-deserved as this award is, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out how pitiful the competition was.
The Salem Statesman Journal, our so-called community newspaper which actually is a Gannett Corporation USA Today near-clone, does a horrible job on environmental and investigative reporting.
When editors at the Statesman Journal killed an already-written story about my tell-all report regarding the utterly needless killing of the beautiful, healthy U.S. Bank trees, after the City's Public Works Director made an unethical back-room deal with the bank president, I knew that the Statesman Journal's journalistic standards had sunk to a disturbing low.
So kudos to A.P. Walther and Salem Weekly for being the honest, open, courageous voice that this town needs. May you bring us many more great stories in 2015.
And maybe even get a cordless phone.