What’s with all the praise? Giving credit where it’s due

To the editor:
Comedian Woody Allen once quipped: “What’s with all the awards? All they do is give out awards here. Best Fascist Dictator: Adolph Hitler.” Allen was speaking about the Hollywood crew and its tendency to stage a multitude of award programs, ensuring that almost anyone would receive an award. And people in the news business can be susceptible to that trend as well. There can sometimes be ulterior motives to complimenting others, of course. If I praise them in public, maybe I’ll get some praise in return — or so the logic might go.

In the case of praise delivered by Craig Hall and Phil Castle in a recent issue of the Business Times, I would guess there are no such ulterior motives. But they’re going to have to put up with some return praise anyway.

Craig has been a journalist’s dream publisher. Go after stories you like, don’t be afraid to make enemies of yourself or the paper and don’t bother me because I’ve got other things to do, was loosely how I’d describe Craig’s management of a crusty old journalist over the past six years. As long as the stories had substance, were fodder for lively discussion in the business community and were accurate, Craig was good about striving to keep a wall between advertising clients and news judgment.

As far as the validity of a story and the accuracy of the information, Phil is a journalist’s dream editor. Always the cheerleader when it came to endorsing efforts to pursue controversial stories, Phil was the level-headed person double checking accuracy, spelling and grammar and ensuring each sentence said exactly what we meant it to say. In other words, we’re all poor editors of own work because we know what we mean while the readers might not. Phil’s experience, attention to detail and tireless effort ensured each sentence almost always did say what we meant to say.

In the age of challenging times for all businesses, it’s good to see the Business Times move forward. I suspect it will be around for a long time. And I know I’ll continue to participate, if only as a reader who craves information contained only in a local business publication.

I also plan to stay in contact with Craig and Phil. Let’s hope they never change — for the sake of all the newspaper’s customers.

Mike Moran, Grand Junction