Originally published in 2004 as a one-time spoof, Gustavo Arellano's "Ask a Mexican" has taken on a life of its own, landing the 27-year-old reporter and editor a regular gig on a right-wing talk radio show as well as the front page of today's Los Angeles Times. In his weekly column, Arellano answers the kind of frank questions about Mexican stereotypes (e.g., "Why do Mexicans put on their Sunday best to shop at Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, etc.?") that aren't normally asked in polite society. According to the Times, he gets away with it because his writing is "historically and culturally accurate" and "imbued with affection for Mexican immigrants." But not everyone is thrilled. OC Weekly Editor Will Swaim tells the Times he still fields the occasional call or e-mail demanding that Arellano be fired.

Continue ReadingOC Weekly’s ‘Ask a Mexican’ Pushes PC Boundaries

Gustavo Arellano was selected to participate in the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication seminar, "Latinization of Art and Culture in America: Understanding Its Impact and Why It Matters," which will be held the third week of October. Twenty-two fellows were honored with an invitation, but only Arellano and Augustin Gurza of the LA Times were named senior fellows; they are expected to assume leadership roles for the duration of the conference. Arellano was the recipient of an AAN Diversity Internship grant in 2002.

Continue ReadingOC Weekly Writer Named Annenberg Senior Fellow

The Religion Newswriters Association has awarded news and investigative reporter Gustavo Arellano a Lilly Scholarship for his reportage on the child-abuse scandal in the Catholic Diocese of Orange County, Calif. According to an OC Weekly press release, he is one of just seven winners for 2004. The non-profit and nonpartisan association awards the scholarships to allow writers to pursue religious studies.

Continue ReadingOC Weekly Reporter Awarded Prestigious Scholarship

According to the latest U.S. census, Latinos are now the country's largest minority group. With this in mind, the question of how alt-weeklies serve this important segment of the population becomes one of increased urgency. Marty Levine reports for AAN News on how papers from Miami, Fla., to Columbus, Ohio, to Orange County, Calif., are addressing the issue of Latino coverage in their area. It may surprise no one that, for each paper, the questions -- as well as the answers -- are unique to the community they serve.

Continue ReadingLatino Coverage Is Crucial for Many Alt-Weeklies

Judicial Watch, which buried Bill and Hillary Clinton in legal papers, has subpoenaed OC Weekly writer Gustavo Arellano for all the photographs he shot of a fight that broke out at an anti-immigrant rally in Anaheim, Calif., in December 2001. Judicial Watch represents the anti-immigrant group California Coalition for Immigration Reform, which claims the city of Anaheim didn't protect CCIR members when a melee broke out with counter-protesters. OC Weekly publishes the photographs in question, and it seems they may actually hurt CCIR's case.

Continue ReadingRight-Wing Group Subpoenas OC Weekly Photographs