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NIKKI FINKE AND LA PRESS CLUB HAVE AT IT

October 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s hard to figure out what precisely ticked irascible entertainment journalist Nikki Finke off, but on Monday she wrote that she is “boycotting” this year’s National Entertainment Journalism awards, presented annually by the Los Angeles Press Club. Finke, who has won numerous awards from the organization in the past, may have been upset about finding herself competing against the revamped Hollywood Reporter (with 28 nominations this year), which generally dominates the award nominations. This year, Variety has received no nominations. (Is that trade publication, now a corporate sibling of Finke’s Deadline, also “boycotting” the awards?) In a post on Monday, Finke wrote that “the LA Press Club seems more interested in collecting entry fees and selling gala tables to its 5-year-old entertainment awards contest than in rewarding high standards of journalism or conducting a competition with integrity. Tabloid media outlets which engage in ‘checkbook journalism’ are allowed to enter and in fact won NEJ categories last year. Articles which were inaccurate also won categories in 2011 as did articles which repurposed other media outlets’ reporting without credit.” Still, it’s a head-scratcher. One has to complete an entry form to be considered for a nomination, and Finke has been doing so since the awards were introduced in 2007 — and has accumulated a slew of them to her credit. For their part, LA Press Club executive director Diana Ljungaeus and president Will Lewis sent FishbowlLA.com an email message saying in part, “It is sad that Deadline chose not to compete. We suspect that it has more to do with the Club honoring The Hollywood Reporter‘s Janice Min with a career achievement award. … LAPC is not concerned with petty rivalries. All our judges are professional journalists, authors and filmmakers who view entries with an independent eye. Keeping them anonymous avoids undue pressure and prevents accusations of ‘playing politics.'” Finke shot back that she had raised her concerns about the competition long before Min’s selection — “right after last year’s competition — and that the officers failed to respond to and often even acknowledge these concerns.”