Alternative Newsweekly Awards Draw Record 1,063 Entries

With a persistently weak economy, most trends have been heading down lately, but interest in the Alternative Newsweekly Awards has surged to an all-time high with 94 AAN member papers, 14 more than last year, submitting 1,063 entries.

This breaks the old record of 1,011 entries set in 2001 by 52, and is 95, or 10 percent, more than last year’s 968 entries. And it means that 81 percent of AAN’s 116 member papers are participating in the 2003 contest.

This year 48 small circulation (50,000 and under) papers submitted 428 entries, and 46 large circulation (more than 50,000) papers submitted 635, about five more entries on average (14) than smaller papers (9). A total of 16 categories were available, with up to three entries per paper allowed in arts criticism, feature and news feature categories for a maximum of 22 entries per paper.

Participation in both circulation divisions rose (small from 39 to 48 papers, large from 41 to 46), despite an increase in the entry fee for small-circulation papers from $10 to $15. The fee for larger papers was lowered from $35 to $25.

Food Criticism, which was added as a category this year, drew 10 entries from small-circulation papers and 25 from larger papers. This year’s wild-card category, Business, drew 43 entries, three less than last year’s Health Care.

Feature Story had the largest number of entries, 190, followed by News Feature at 142, and Arts Criticism at 115.

Editorial entries are being sent this week to first-round judges, who will send their top choices into the final round, where three-judge panels will select the winners. Later this month, graphic entries will be sent directly to three-judge panels, who will make the final choices.

Award winners will be notified in mid-May, and the order of finish will be announced at the Alternative Newsweekly Awards luncheon at the AAN Convention in Pittsburgh.

Leave a Reply