Diana Ljungaeus of LA Press Club Explains Voting Process/ LA Isn’t Dallas


After all the drama of the last week, Diana Ljungaeus, the Executive Director of the LA Press Club, was kind enough to fill us in on the voting process. (And re-assure us that FBLA hadn’t “slandered” the Press Club, which was balm to our wounded spirits.) Not so oddly enough, some of the biggest squawkers aren’t even members.

Ljungaeus explained that it’s important to keep every aspect of the nominating, judging and voting process transparent, by alluding to the problems at the Dallas Press Club. There, members alleged that the now-departed president had rigged the voting–for 3 years running–sometimes in favor of herself.

From her email:

This year we had more than 600 entries in the contest –open to all journalists in Southern California. The winners listed on our website represent the first, second and third place winners in each category and does not reflect how many entered in each category.

Each year we spend countless hours trying to make the judging fair and without any influence or bias-input from anyone in the Los Angeles press club–which is the reason why all material is judged out of our area (New York, Florida, Houston, New Orleans, Omaha, Milwaukee, Washington etc.)

Our small staff is responsible for sending out the entries for judging, so not even the board can influence the result.

We also rotate the judging duties, so no one club judges the same material year after year–and we keep tabs on how well the judging was performed, based on time-line and type of comments; in order not to go back to a club that did a sloppy judging job.

For even more information on this process, please read Michael Collins’ column on judging.

And for those who think the competition sucks–make it right by entering your own best work from 2007 in our 50th Annual Journalism Awards Contest. We’ll start accepting entries in January of 2008.

That is going to be a party to remember!

For this Jubilee Year we are also expanding our blog awards–promoting excellence in journalism in all media.

Diana Ljungaeus