UC wins Neal Award
During last year's International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE), we were flabbergasted when several leaders of the public-safety community — some of whom were actively involved in the lobbying effort — praised Urgent Communications for the role that it played in Congress enacting the legislation that resulted in the D Block spectrum being reallocated to public safety and the authorization of $7 billion in seed money for the network's design and deployment. Among other things, they credited us for keeping the matter on the front burner, and for challenging public safety's thinking.
That was very gratifying. Journalists don't do what they do for money or praise. Rather, we do what we do because we believe it needs to be done, that the common good is well served by shedding light on important matters and offering needed perspective.
But it's always nice to get recognition, and we received more last week, when we learned that UC is a 2013 Jesse H. Neal Award recipient. I have to admit, I wouldn't have entered the competition if not for being nudged by my boss. And I didn't know much about the award, or its significance, until I looked into it after learning that we were a finalist. I was stunned to discover that the Neal Award widely is considered the "Pulitzer Prize of business publishing."
UC won in the category of Best Subject-Related Series, fittingly for a series of articles authored by editor Donny Jackson on public-safety broadband communications. We have been on this story like white on rice since 2006, when we broke the story of Morgan O'Brien's fantastic notion that a nationwide broadband communications network for first responders might be possible.
This is more evidence of the quality of our journalism, which is the reason the industry turns to UC when it wants to know what happened, why it happened, and what it means. I'm proud of that.
And I couldn't be prouder of my friend and colleague Donny Jackson, with whom I have worked side by side for more than a dozen years. I have long considered him to be the best journalist with whom I have worked during a career that is now in its fourth decade. Apparently, the people at the Neal Awards think well of his work, too. I'm glad he's on our side, and I'm looking forward to the next dozen years — at least — as we work together to bring you our industry's best journalism.
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