Looking around the web recently, the thought crossed my mind that what we really need is an award to recognize the exceptionally irresponsible reporting that happens all too often in the case of the Zodiac Killer.

I’m not talking about your average Joe, armed with only a keyboard and a set of unjustifiable opinions, leaving his mark on the net. Quite frankly, who cares? I’m talking about organizations who are, or portray themselves to be, part of the profession of news reporting. The type of organizations to whom the public turns for knowledge and guidance regarding stories of the day. People who, simply put, ought to know better.

Such an award should have a proper and fitting name which embodies the sensibilities of the recipients and the accomplishments which have made the recipients deserving of the award.

As you might have guessed, I’ve considered all of these issues carefully and I’m happy to report that I’ve successfully worked out the details of just such an award. You’ve heard of the Nobel Prize, the Oscar, the Emmy, the Espy and even the Razzie. Now, please allow me to introduce:

The Dubie [pronounced doo-bie], an award recognizing outstanding achievement in the practice of irresponsible news reporting on the subject of the Zodiac Killer.

Dubie is derived from the word “dubious” and hence represents all the qualities that we’ve come to expect from so-called news organizations who value sensationalism and popularity over journalistic annoyances like accuracy, fact checking, honesty, due diligence, and a concern for the public good.

Astute readers who are experienced in the ways of the world may perceive another aspect by which the Dubie is apropos. While I cannot deny the existence of this duality, it is but a fortunate, secondary characteristic – a fringe benefit of sorts.

Normally, awards are “announced” or “handed out”. However, in the interest of creating a set of circumstances and traditions that are unique to our new award, I feel it’s appropriate to present the Dubie by way of its own phrase. For these reasons, the winners of the award shall “pass the Dubie” from one recipient to the next.

Of course, no such newly-created award would be complete without the announcement of an inaugural winner. Not surprisingly, there are no shortage of nominees. Yet, the selection process was made relatively simple given the magnitude of one particular nominee’s achievement.

In fact, the Dubie owes much to the efforts of this particular news organization in that, without their particular achievement, I very well may not have been sufficiently motivated to invest the time and effort required to establish the Dubie. Therefore, I personally owe a debt of gratitude to our introductory recipient.

Without further ado, may I have a drum roll please…

Whoever has the Dubie (you know who you are), please, pass the Dubie to: firstcoastnews.com.

Let’s have a look at the outstanding achievement which earned firstcoastnews.com this impressive distinction. As with many of the recent Zodiac-Killer news stories on the web, fistcoastnews.com was reporting on Lyndon Lafferty’s recent book. Embedding a video report from another news organization, KXTV in Sacramento, firstcoastnews.com added a short post to their website explaining:

Zodiac killer identified, but is already dead

The infamous Californian serial killer was 91 and just died in Feb, but not before victims sister met him.

Who knew? I guess we can all go home now… Good thing I found this article. To think, I almost missed it!

I have a suspicion that this post will disappear at some point in the not-too-distant future. Therefore, in the interest of posterity, I’m keeping an image of it.

firstcoastnews.com Web Page Image

It’s important to point out that many awards similar to the Dubie, e.g. the various Nobel Prizes, are accompanied by some component of monetary value. Not wanting to have the Dubie perceived as lacking in this regard, I have decided to personally bankroll a similar component of value. To this end, each winner of the Dubie shall be entitled to one large bag of Doritos in the flavor or their choosing. To collect this part of the prize (firstcoastnews.com, I’m talking to you), simply contact me.

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in congratulating the first-ever winner of the Dubie: firstcoastnews.com!