Saturday, October 21, 2006

Greetings from Chile: Tell us what you think

I'm in Santiago, Chile. It's not as glam as Buenos Aires, but I find it more comfortable in many ways. Crime is low, the economy is stable, and the snow-crusted Andes surrounding the city would seduce even the most hardened cynic.

I'm here attending the annual conference of the Society of American Travel Writers. We've got great news: The Miami Herald took three honors in the annual SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition.

I was named Travel Journalist of the Year, which in my corner of the world is something akin to a Pulitzer Prize. The Miami Herald's Travel Section won top honors as the Best Newspaper Travel Section in our size category. And I won silver medal for a story on getting the most from the Internet in a hurry.

Whether an award bears my name or The Herald's, it represents the efforts and accomplishments of a band of diligent journalists: Juan Lopez, Maddy Marr, Chuck Buhman, Steve Rothaus, Jim Kukar, Monica Roos, Sidonie Sawyer and most of all, Marjie Lambert, our assistant travel editor.

And you, our readers. Our job is to serve you. It's nice when the judges at the University of Missouri say we did it well. But it's you we want to serve. Let us know how we can do it better, and the subjects you most want to read about.

Through Nov. 3, you can fill out our survey and get a chance to win a weekend in the Florida Keys. Or you can just leave us a note here...we want to know what you think.