Editorial Prizes Awarded

LA Weekly, Nashville Scene the Big Winners.

LA Weekly and Nashville Scene walked away with the biggest honors as the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies on Saturday, June 13 announced the winners of its third annual editorial awards contest. LA Weekly led the papers in the over-54,000 circulation division with six first-place awards, and Nashville Scene snared the most prizes among the smaller papers, capturing three first-place and two second-place awards.

In total, 33 AAN papers received awards in 17 different categories and two circulation divisions in the 1998 editorial contest.

The winners were presented during a special luncheon held on the final day of the AAN convention in Washington, D.C. Jack Shafer, managing editor of Slate, emceed the event, and peppered his presentation with gibes at various industry leaders and fictitious announcements of mergers and acquisitions in the alternative newspaper business.

In his introduction, AAN Executive Director Richard Karpel contrasted the AAN contest with editorial competitions that “are designed to make money for the sponsoring organization by handing out lots of awards to all the participants.” According to Karpel, the AAN contest has been designed as a “rigorous competition to identify the very best work in the alternative newspaper business.”

Karpel said judges were selected on the basis of their standing in the profession and their understanding of alternative journalism. Many high-profile journalists served as judges in the contest this year, including editors and reporters like James Fallows, Christopher Hitchens, Frank Rich, Hanna Rosin, Jonathan Harr, E.J. Dionne, Michael Kelly, Michael Lewis, Patricia Smith, Eric Alterman, Alex Kotlowitz, Gregg Easterbrook, Michelle Cottle; and artist/writers like Steve Albini and Lenny Kaye.

The most outstanding individual performance was turned in by staff writer Willy Stern of Nashville Scene, who won three first-place prizes in the under-54,000 circulation division. Stern was cited for his work in the feature story, media reporting and investigative reporting categories. In media reporting, Stern tied for first place with Jesse Fox Mayshark of Knoxville, Tennessee’s Metro Pulse. Mayshark also received a first-place prize in political reporting.

Here is a complete list of the winners:


First: “The Refugee: Expatriate Artist R. B. Kitaj’s Bittersweet Homecoming,” LA Weekly (Brendan Bernhard)
Second: “Sins of the Poet,” Seattle Weekly (Kathryn Robinson)

First: “Power Flick People,” Metro Santa Cruz (Traci Hukill)


OVER 54,000
First: “The Great Bank Thievery,” SF Weekly (Peter Byrne)
Second: “Sell or Be Hanged,” New Times Los Angeles (David Cogan)

UNDER 54,000
First: “Boxcar Willies,” Folio Weekly (Anne Schindler)


OVER 54,000
First: Eddie Little, LA Weekly
Second: Dan Savage, The Stranger
Honorable Mention: Judith Larsen, Washington City Paper
Honorable Mention: Guy Trebay, Village Voice

UNDER 54,000
First: Lucius Lomax, Texas Observer
Second: Liz Langley, Orlando Weekly


OVER 54,000
First: Nat Hentoff, Village Voice

UNDER 54,000
First: Hal Crowther, Independent Weekly
Second: Steve Glorioso, Kansas City New Times
Third: Clancy DuBos and Allen Johnson, Jr., Gambit Weekly


OVER 54,000
First: “Fables of the Reconstruction,” Chicago Reader (Jeff Huebner, Randy Tunnell)
Second: “The Legacy of Lil’ Smurf,” Willamette Week (Katherine M. Topaz)
Third: “The Incredibly True Adventures of Cool Girl,” Sacramento News & Review (Don Button, Brutal Gift Studio)

UNDER 54,000
First: “Star Quality,” City Newspaper (Robert Wescott)


OVER 54,000
First: “Dark Days on Black Mesa,” Phoenix New Times (John Dougherty)
Second: “How Green is Too Green?” Miami New Times (Kirk Semple)
Third: “Hate Canal,” Washington City Paper (Erik Wemple)

UNDER 54,000
First: “Burning Rubber,” Colorado Springs Independent (Malcolm Howard)


OVER 54,000
First: “My Father, the Writer,” LA Weekly (Michael Fessier, Jr.)
Honorable Mention: “No Justice, No Peace,” City Pages (Dara Moskowitz)

UNDER 54,000
First: “A Good Thing Gone Bad,” Nashville Scene (Willy Stern)


OVER 54,000
First: “Raiders of the Lost Art,” City Pages (Rob Nelson)
Second: “City of Angels,” SF Weekly (Michael Sragow)

UNDER 54,000
First: “The Prince of Plots,” Metro Santa Cruz (Richard vonBusack)
Second: “Hell to the Chief,” Nashville Scene (Jim Ridley)


OVER 54,000
First: “Tea for Two Hundred,” East Bay Express (Linnea Due)

UNDER 54,000
First: “Espresso Expressions,” San Luis Obispo New Times (Jeff McMahon)
Second: “Let There Be Food,” Independent Weekly (David Auerbach)


OVER 54,000
First: “Deadly Frequency,” LA Weekly (Owen Smith)
Second: Cover art, “Imprints” Literary Supplement, Baltimore City Paper (Greg Houston)
Third (Tie): “The Transfiguration,” East Bay Express (Brian Clarke)
Third (Tie): Cover art, “City Books” Literary Supplement, Washington City Paper (Robert Megank)

UNDER 54,000
First: “Poetry Contest,” Independent Weekly (Andrea Cobb)
Second: “Without Consensus,” Nashville Scene (Don Wood)
Third: “Has Worcester’s Gene Pool Dried Up?” The Worcester Phoenix (Dale Stephanos)
Honorable Mention: “Are We Marching into the Digital Dark Age?” Sonoma County Independent (Mikel Parton)


OVER 54,000
“Easy Street,” Houston Press (Bob Burtman)

UNDER 54,000
First: “Cops for Sale,” Nashville Scene (Willy Stern)
Honorable Mention: “A Force to Be Reckoned With,” Springfield Advocate (Tom Vannah)


OVER 54,000
First: “To Lie For,” Willamette Week (David Smilgelski)
Second (Tie): “And Now a Word From Our Sponsor,” Baltimore City Paper (Eileen Murphy)
Second (Tie): “Money Talks,” New Times Los Angeles (Dave Wielenga)

UNDER 54,000
First (Tie): “Can the New York Times Trust This Guy?” Nashville Scene (Willy Stern)
First (Tie): “News You Can Use,” Metro Pulse (Jesse Fox Mayshark)


OVER 54,000
First: “The Fast Man Stopped,” LA Weekly (Greg Burk)
Second: “That Time Again,” Chicago Reader (Monica Kendrick)

UNDER 54,000
First: “Sacred Steel,” City Newspaper (Dan Bindert)


OVER 54,000
First: “Birth Hospital No. 1,” LA Weekly (Anne Fishbein)
Second: “Acts of Faith,” Sacramento News & Review (Noel Neuburger)
UNDER 54,000
First: “Life in the Abstract,” Gambit Weekly (Elizabeth Rappaport)


OVER 54,000
First: “The Godfather of South Central,” New Times Los Angeles (Marc Cooper)

UNDER 54,000
First: “The Chair and the Bench,” Metro Pulse (Jesse Fox Mayshark)
Honorable Mention: “Money Talking,” Orlando Weekly (Edward Ericson, Jr.)
Honorable Mention: “Our Culture of Cheating,” Gambit Weekly (Clancy DuBos, Allen Johnson, Jr., Larry Keller, David Kurtz, Mukul Verma)


OVER 54,000
First: “Criminal Justice,” Chicago Reader (Steve Bogira)
Second: “Collateral Damage,” East Bay Express (Chris Thompson)

UNDER 54,000
First: “Double Standard,” Texas Observer (Debbie Nathan)


First: “Webb Page Confidential,” Houston Press
Second: “Through a Lens Darkly: Photo Essay,” Dallas Observer
Third: “In D.C.,” Washington City Paper