You never get too full of yourself in journalism. Just when you think you're on a roll, reality rears up and slaps you upside the head.
For instance, a couple of months ago, we were notified by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers that a cover story written by former staffer Jackie Farwell about the state's stranglehold on liquor distribution and sales won a highly coveted "Best in Business" award in the explanatory category. It was great work by Jackie, enhanced by a terrific cover illustration by Mainebiz Graphic Designer Matt Selva and designed by Creative Director Jan Holder.
Then, just a couple of weeks ago, Mainebiz picked up another award, this time from the Alliance of Area Business Publications recognizing overall excellence in design — a recognition Jan and her crew have won so many times we've run out of space on our lobby wall to display the plaques.
Yes, we do great work here and we love it when we get that kind of national recognition from our peers. But then our editorial glow started to dim ever so slightly. First we got a call mentioning an error in the June 25 issue, then an email, then another. Ugh. Five mistakes in all. Even though electronic archives mean you can make a correction instantly and the corrected version of a story will live in perpetuity, it doesn't take the sting out of making mistakes.
So while lots of journalists indulged in a bit of schadenfreude — you know, that German word that means taking pleasure in someone else's misfortune — over CNN and Fox TV news' gaffes reporting the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act, there was no snickering going on here. (Well, none that I could hear anyway.) We all make mistakes and no matter the platform or the player, they all erode our credibility. We promise to do better (speaking for Mainebiz of course. CNN and Fox — you're on your own.)
Speaking of credibility, it stretches ours a bit to imagine a zip line slicing the Rumford skyline, but that's just what some folks are proposing to create a tourist destination in this historic paper-making town. See what's up — literally — in Contributing Writer Sara Anne Donnelly's cover piece, "Putting the zip in Rumford," part of our focus on western Maine. We also profile a New Sharon entrepreneur who has launched three businesses inside of two years in "Feeding frenzy," on page 20. And we talk to three Oxford-area business people about the impact they're seeing on their businesses, courtesy of the new casino, in "Placing their bets," on page 18.
Also, make sure you read Jim McCarthy's cover story, "Charting a course," a Q&A with new University of Maine System Chancellor James Page. Here's the man responsible for steering the academic mission of a far-flung, seven-campus system while meeting work-force development needs of Maine businesses. He's uniquely qualified with his advanced degrees in philosophy and 13 years as president of Old Town's James W. Sewall Co.
His presence will be known. Make no mistake about it.