On Feb. 9 at Lemuria Books in Jackson, two of the Free Press' most distinguished journalists, Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd and freelance writer Ayana Taylor (pictured), read their award-winning entries from "Best AltWeekly Writing and Design 2005." More than 25 books were sold, and the evening was an all-around success.
In the same year that Ayana Taylor served as a diversity intern for the Jackson Free Press, she wrote three news stories that won her a first-place AltWeekly Award. She believes it's her persistence that has made interview subjects open up to her, even when they didn't want to talk to the media. This is the 15th in a "How I Got That Story" series highlighting the AltWeekly Awards' first-place winners.
In an unsigned article titled "Negress Awarded for Interviewing Nationalist," the Mississippi-based Nationalist Movement takes a swipe at one of the three pieces that netted Ayana Taylor of Jackson Free Press an AltWeekly Award earlier this year. Richard Barrett, editor of the group's Web site and the subject of Taylor's profile, "X Marks the Boycott," calls the story "light on accuracy," claiming he was misquoted and that Taylor "editorialized considerably in the article." Barrett also says he had "trouble understanding (Taylor)," and congratulates himself for "departing from precedent in which pro-majority activists invariably refused to speak to Negroes."