Knight Ridder announces its excellence award winners. Among them is a copy editor:
Marcia Abramson, deputy copy desk chief/Community News for the Detroit Free Press, won the Behind-the-Scenes Journalism award, designed to recognize the achievements of those who labor in the newsroom without bylines or credit lines.
Abramson won for her leadership in helping to develop the concept and managing the ongoing production of the Community Free Press micro-zoned local news sections. Heavy on listings, calendars and vital "very local" news, the weekly sections are low on the journalism glamour list but rich in the kinds of information readers value in their everyday lives.
To edit the sections, Abramson was instrumental in a plan to hire a part- time copy desk composed largely of new mothers who had left the paper to devote time to their young families. The plan has been a success.
The jury said, "Marcia has done a marvelous job in something that is difficult for large newspapers to provide, but extremely valuable to readers and advertisers. Her enthusiasm and professionalism have energized those around her. We were impressed, too, with her creativity in assembling a staff that includes many part-timers; in an industry that struggles to retain good copy editors, she's found a way to help keep that talent employed."