The Fort Worth Weekly, Houston Press and San Antonio Current took home a total of 10 first-place awards in the SPJ Fort Worth First Amendment Awards. Fort Worth Weekly took home leading honors for Defending the Disadvantaged, Green News, Reporting on Open Government, Opening the Books and Student Work, while the Press, competing in the higher-circulation division, won firsts for Defending the Disadvantaged, Green News and Opening the Books. The Current, which like the Weekly was competing in the small-circ division, took home first-place honors in the Investigative and Opinion or Commentary categories.

Continue ReadingThree Texas Alt-Weeklies Honored with SPJ Awards

Chuck Kerr is the latest alt-weekly art director to have his work spotlighted by Robert Newman on the Society of Publication Designers' blog. Kerr, who won an AltWeekly Award for Cover Design in 2007, says he has a "pretty simple" cover design philosophy -- "sell the story in under five seconds." He adds: "The more complex the story, the more I try to create imagery that elicits an emotional response or plays off a well-known pop culture icon -- anything to plant my idea in the reader's head as quickly and permanently as possible."

Continue ReadingSan Antonio Current’s Covers Have ‘Intelligence and Graphic Power’

Chris Keating, who was most recently publisher at the San Antonio Current, has been named the new publisher at Times Shamrock sister paper the Cleveland Scene. Replacing Keating in San Antonio will be Michael Wagner, a former publisher of the Riverfront Times. He will take the title of general manager.

Continue ReadingTimes Shamrock Taps Chris Keating as Scene Publisher

Greg Harman's three-part Nukes of Hazard series has made On Earth magazine's "Best Environmental Journalism of 2009" list, along with several books, a series from the New York Times and pieces from prominent national magazines like The New Yorker, Mother Jones and Vanity Fair. "Harman shows readers what's at stake in the current industry campaign to create a 'nuclear renaissance' in Texas," Osha Gray Davidson writes. "Nukes of Hazard is exactly what alternative weeklies are supposed to provide but frequently don't: a powerfully written, in-depth piece about an issue that is most important to readers -- now that they've found out about it." On Earth is published by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Continue ReadingSan Antonio Current Series Makes ‘Best Environmental Journalism’ List

The Houston Press and Fort Worth Weekly were the big winners in this year's awards competition sponsored by the Houston Press Club. The Press won a total of 16 awards. In the big papers division, it finished first for Business Story and General Commentary/Criticism, while staff writer Craig Malisow was named Print Journalist of the Year (his colleague Chris Vogel was runner-up.) In the art and web divisions open to all papers, the Press took home first-place awards for Feature Story, Hard News Reporting, Photo Package and Sports Photo. The Weekly, competing in the small papers division, won a total of 11 awards, including first-place finishes in Feature Story, Investigative Reporting, Politics/Government, Sports Story and Business Story (which it swept). Also in the large division, the Dallas Observer won four awards, including firsts for Feature Story, Sports Story; in the small division, San Antonio Current took home three awards.

Continue ReadingFour AAN Members Clean Up at the Lone Star Awards

In the sixteenth installment of this year's "How I Got That Story" series, San Antonio Current music editor Gilbert Garcia talks about his winning columns, which Ling Ma says are all "portraits of mediocrity." She's talking not about Garcia's writing, of course, but about the subjects he covers: The Police, Paul McCartney, and American Idol Haley Scarnato. Garcia discusses his band, the role a music critic should play, and the difficulty of writing about something you know very well. "When you know too much about a subject, you almost have too many approaches you could take," he says.

Continue ReadingHow I Got That Story: Gilbert Garcia

Kat Swift, who worked at the alt-weekly from 2002-2006, is gunning for the Oval Office, seeking the presidential nomination of the Green Party. "The FEC filing is insane," she tells the Current. "You can see how they sort of made it where companies can make money off of the government's inability to be simplistic and straightforward." Swift, who the Current calls "San Antonio's newest perennial candidate," started at the paper as receptionist and worked her way up to credit manager. In this Q&A, she talks about why she's running, the need for third parties, and how hard it is to get on the ballot.

Continue ReadingFormer San Antonio Current Staffer Running for President