Winners of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' 2008 Column Writing Contest were announced Saturday night in New Orleans. The Village Voice's Lynn Yaeger took first in the Humor (circulation 100,000+) category; judges said she had a "very entertaining style that bounces right along." Edmund Newton, who writes the Tailpipe column for New Times Broward-Palm Beach, placed first in the Notes/Items (all circulations) category; judges said he takes readers on "a tasty ride through life's odder moments."
Three AAN papers won a total of 12 Sunshine State Awards, given out by the South Florida Pro Chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists. Miami New Times nabbed four awards, including first-place finishes in Serious Feature Reporting, Arts Reporting, and the Gene Miller Award for Investigative Reporting. Creative Loafing (Tampa)'s six total awards including a first-place finish in Election Reporting. New Times Broward-Palm Beach won two awards, including first-place kudos for Non-Deadline Business Reporting.
Robert Meyerowitz tells AAN News that he's leaving the paper on May 9. He's been editor since last April, when he took over for Tony Ortega, who left to edit The Village Voice. Meyerowitz, who came to New Times from the Anchorage Press, and has also edited the Honolulu Weekly, has been named the Snedden professor of journalism at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks for the 2008-09 academic year.
In the non-daily print division, AAN members comprise 16 of the 30 finalists in the Society of Professional Journalists' Green Eyeshade Awards, which "recognizes outstanding journalism in 11 southeastern states." The Memphis Flyer and Miami New Times each has six finalists, New Times Broward-Palm Beach has two, and the Independent Weekly and Mountain XPress each has one.
"Marya Summers is tired of hanging out in nightclubs, so she's quitting her job," South Florida Media Jobs reports. The New Times Broward-Palm Beach nightlife columnist is leaving to pursue an MFA in creative nonfiction. In this Q&A, she dispenses the notion that writing about nightlife is easy. "Most people are self-deceiving when it comes to who they are, so my column comes as a slap in the face," she says. "I've lost friends." Asked to give advice to the intrepid columnist who might want to replace her, Summers gets right to the point: "An expense account for a nightlife columnist is just incentive to drive drunk. Negotiate more pay instead of reimbursed expenses."
AAN members were well-represented when the South Florida Chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists announced the winners of the 2007 Sunshine State Awards Saturday night. New Times Broward-Palm Beach took home three first-place awards, and Miami New Times had one first-place finish. Those two papers and Creative Loafing also accounted for 10 second- and third-place awards in the yearly contest.
Former South Florida Sun-Sentinel writer Buddy Nevins has sued the New Times Broward-Palm Beach writer and VVM for defamation and invasion of privacy/false light, the Sun-Sentinel reports. Nevins claims that Norman falsely stated that he was forced out from the daily paper over a story that later had to be corrected. Nevins also alleges that Norman falsely claimed he had an "unholy alliance" with lobbyist Ali Waldman that "ruined" him as a reporter. "This may get interesting, but there is no joy in Pulpville tonight," Norman writes on his blog, the Daily Pulp. "I like Buddy and believe he's done awesome work in his career ... but I stand by my work and wish Buddy the best."
Robert Meyerowitz will replace Tony Ortega, who transferred last month after he was named editor of the Village Voice. Meyerowitz served as editor-in-chief of the Anchorage Press from 1998 to 2003. According to a Village Voice Media press release, he also covered the civil war in Nicaragua, freelanced for VVM's Phoenix New Times, and briefly served as editor of the Honolulu Weekly. In an e-mail to Broward-Palm Beach staff, VVM executive associate editor Andy Van De Voorde says Meyerowitz received kudos from Anchorage's daily for "thoughtful and provocative journalism." He adds: "I believe that same description applies in spades to your own paper, and in that sense I think you will find Robert a kindred spirit."
Writing on the New Times Broward-Palm Beach's Daily Pulp blog, staff writer Bob Norman says "Ortega's announcement at a meeting yesterday left the staff under what I can I only describe as a funereal pall." He predicts Ortega "will sit in the editor's chair at the Voice for as long he wants to be there," because he has "the temperament to weather the shitstorm" and the "hard-earned trust" of Village Voice Media Executive Editor Mike Lacey.
AAN members are well-represented in the 2006 awards given out by the Education Writers Association, with a near-sweep of "Feature, News Feature or Issue Package" for papers under 100,000 circulation. In that category, Todd Spivak of the Houston Press took home First Place for "Cut Short," while Special Citations were awarded to Willamette Week's Beth Slovic for "Illegal Scholar," the Houston Press' Margaret Downing for "Opt In, Opt Out," and New Times Broward-Palm Beach's Kelly Cramer for "FCAT Scratch Fever." Kristen Hinman of Riverfront Times received a First Place award in the "Investigative Reporting" category for her Vashon High School Series.