The Association of Alternative Newsmedia is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 AAN Awards. The winners below were chosen as the most outstanding from a field of 598 entries submitted by 54 alternative publications across the U.S. and Canada.
Held every year since 1996, the AAN Awards recognize the best in alternative journalism and graphic design and are a unique chance for alt-weeklies to compete directly against the work of their peers in cities across the continent.
The winners were announced during the 2021 Annual Convention in Boston at a ceremony held Friday, July 23. First place winners received a commemorative plaque, sponsored by Popmount.
Congratulations to all award winners!
CASH PRIZE CATEGORIES
Arts Criticism (Jim Ridley Award)
Winner received $500 prize, funded by Nashville Scene.
2nd PLACE: Orlando Weekly:”Translucent: Kieran Castaño’s paintings aren’t just beautiful – they’re necessary” by Leah Sandler
Column (Billy Manes Award)
Winner received $250 prize, funded by Orlando Weekly.
Investigative Reporting (David Carr Award)
Winner received $500 cash prize, funded by AAN.
3rd PLACE: Washington City Paper: “Waste Mismanagement” by Cuneyt Dil
HONORABLE MENTION: Colorado Springs Independent: “Busted: CSPD and other officers disciplined for moonlighting for Teller County sheriff’s private investigations company” by Pam Zubeck
Winner received $500 prize, funded by Boulder Weekly publisher Fran Zankowski.
1st PLACE: Chicago Reader: “The Pride Issue” by Chicago Reader Staff
2nd PLACE: Chicago Reader: “We’re not asking for any more than what we are already deserved” by Adam M. Rhodes, Karen Hawkins
3rd PLACE: The Inlander: “Piecing It Together: A family searches for answers after a gay teen in a small town is beaten and buried in a shallow grave” by Wilson Criscione
HONORABLE MENTION: Pittsburgh Current: “Gender-Affirming Parenting Is Allowing Kids To Explore Their Own Identities” by Brittany Hailer
Nonprofit Collaboration (The BINJ Award)
Winner received $500 cash prize, funded by the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism
1st PLACE: Arkansas Times:”Arkansas poultry workers amid the coronavirus: ‘We’re not essential, we’re expendable’” by Alice Driver, with Arkansas Nonprofit News Network
2nd PLACE: Willamette Week: “Jammed” by Latisha Jensen, with Report For America
3rd PLACE: Pittsburgh City Paper: “A changing story by police on a rural Pa. shooting helped fuel white vigilantes and misinformation” by Ryan Deto, Joseph Darius Jaafari, with Spotlight PA
HONORABLE MENTION: Arkansas Times: “Arkansas educators hit hard by COVID-19, new figures show” by Benjamin Hardy, with Arkansas Nonprofit News Network
Right-Wing Extremism Coverage
Winner received $500 cash prize, funded by Anonymous.
1st PLACE: The Inlander: “Triggered: How America’s social unrest and weakened institutions have incited vigilantes” by Daniel Walters
3rd PLACE: Triad City Beat: “The lost boys of Ukraine: How the war abroad beckoned American white supremacists” by Jordan Green
1st PLACE: Las Vegas Weekly: “Intimacy & Innovation” by Brock Radke
2nd PLACE: Washington City Paper: “The Day the Music Died: Local and Regional Performers Reflect on Life Without Live Music in the Wake of Coronavirus” by Kristina Gaddy
3rd PLACE: Seven Days: “In the Shadows: The Legend of Author and Folklorist Joe Citro” by Dan Bolles
HONORABLE MENTION: Willamette Week: “Starving Artists” by Shannon Gormley
1st PLACE: Nashville Scene: “Safety, Compensation and Accountability at Nashville Construction Sites” by Alejandro Ramirez
2nd PLACE: Chicago Reader: “From soldier to worker” by Maya Dukmasova, Sujay Kumar
3rd PLACE: The Pitch: “The fight for racial equality has boosted Black-owned businesses, but it won’t fix their issues forever” by Hanna Ellington
Health Care Reporting
1st PLACE: Seven Days: “It’s in the Building: How COVID-19 Overwhelmed a Burlington Nursing Home” by Derek Brouwer, Colin Flanders
2nd PLACE: The Inlander: “Offering free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, crisis pregnancy centers try to ‘slow down’ thoughts of abortion in an ultimate quest to stop it” by Samantha Wohlfeil
HONORABLE MENTION: Dig Boston: “Boston’s Murky World of Open-Source COVID-19 Vaccine Research” by Tadhg Larabee
1st PLACE: Little Village: “The ‘long and terrifying’ journey of two friends fleeing Modi’s India for Iowa City” by Ikram Basra
2nd PLACE: Dig Boston: “Coronavirus Leaves International Students Uncertain About Future” by Grace Symes
3rd PLACE: INDY Week: “Because of What I Did As a Three-Year-Old, I Have No Access to the American Dream” by Jeremy Carballo Pineda
HONORABLE MENTION: INDY Week: “As Election Day Looms, José Chicas Feels Like He’s in Limbo” by Sara Pequeño
Long-Form News Story
1st PLACE: Cleveland Scene: “Caught Between Here and There: Octavius Williams Was Convicted of Attempted Murder in 2011. Now, He’s Free, But Far From Finished With His Case” by Eric Sandy
2nd PLACE: Eugene Weekly: “Begin Modeling” by Donald Morrison
3rd PLACE: Washington City Paper: “How the D.C. Police Department, DOJ, and D.C. Attorney General’s Office Shield Cops’ Bad Acts” by Mitch Ryals
HONORABLE MENTION: The Inlander: “Doomed: How a fire destroyed the town of Malden in a matter of hours” by Wilson Criscione
1st PLACE: North Coast Journal: Covers by Jonathan Webster, Soni Lopez-Chavez
2nd PLACE: San Antonio Current: Covers by Samantha Serna, Tom Carlson, Melissa McHenry
3rd PLACE: Detroit Metro Times: Covers by Evan Sult
HONORABLE MENTION: Riverfront Times: Covers by Evan Sult
1st PLACE: Las Vegas Weekly: “Caucus 2020” by Corlene Byrd
2nd PLACE: Las Vegas Weekly: “Staying Busy and Mentally Healthy” by Corlene Byrd
3rd PLACE: Washington City Paper: “Behind the Movement” by Maddie Goldstein, Darrow Montgomery, Ella Feldman
HONORABLE MENTION: The Inlander: “Progress Edition” by Derek Harrison
1st PLACE: Nashville Scene: “The Boner Awards” by Holly Carden
HONORABLE MENTION: Seven Days: New Year Cover by Jeff Drew
3rd PLACE: Willamette Week: “Portland Streets” by Alex Wittwer
1st PLACE: Washington City Paper: “2020 Vision” by Josh Kramer
2nd PLACE: Washington City Paper: “The Nature of D.C.” by Julia Terbrock, Kayla Randall, Maddie Goldstein, Ronan Lynam, Carlos Carmonamedina, Tenbeete Solomon
3rd PLACE: Seven Days: “Green Mountain Quaranzine: Seven Days’ First (and We Hope Last) Pandemic Literary Journal” by Dan Bolles, Contributors
1st PLACE: Volume One: “Outbroken: A pandemic’s impact on Wisconsin farms & food” by Joel Pearish, Don Ross, Nick Meyer, Eric Christenson, Rebecca Mennecke, Andrea Paulseth, Tom Giffey, Taylor McCumber, Alex Barber, Kyle Lehman, Anthony Casonova
2nd PLACE: Little Village: “Iowa City teen Kasey Dawson overcame homelessness and loss to graduate high school. A year later, she’s still fighting for a place to call her own”(I, II) by Emma McClatchey, Jason Smith
1st PLACE: Pittsburgh Current: “Historical Context: Violence Occurring Against Black Pittsburghers Today Has Been Happening For More Than A Century-And-A-Half ” by Jody DiPerna, Elaine Frantz, Charlie Deitch, Jake Mysliwczyk, Deesha Philyaw, Caitlyn Hunter, Larissa Mallon
2nd PLACE: INDY Week: “Everything You Wanted to Know About Coronavirus But You Were Too Afraid to Ask” by INDY Week Staff
3rd PLACE: Seven Days: “August Kids VT” by Kids VT Staff
HONORABLE MENTION: Yes! Weekly: “Triad Coloring Book” by Alex Farmer
1st PLACE: Chronogram: “The Future is Now” by Brian Mahoney
2nd PLACE: Mountain Xpress: “2020 Voter Guide” by Jeff Fobes, Scott Southwick, Virginia Daffron, Molly Horak, Daniel Walton, David Furr, Tiffany Wagner, Sara Brecht, Cindy Kunst, Able Allen, Laura Hackett
3rd PLACE: Seven Days: “Staytripper July 2020” by Seven Days Staff
HONORABLE MENTION: Little Village: “Reader-Submitted Photo Issue” by Jordan Sellergren