A Marine Corps veteran who has been struggling with mental-health issues has credited a story published in this week's Phoenix in Boston, Portland, and Providence with saving his life. Just hours after the story, "Soldiers Committing Suicide," hit the streets in Maine, the former Marine called the Portland office, thanking the paper for running the story and sharing his own ordeal of being out of meds he takes for his PTSD. Portland Phoenix managing editor Jeff Inglis recommended the vet contact a local counseling service, and the vet called again later saying he'd made the appointment. "You guys saved the life of a veteran," he said on a voicemail message. MORE: Read Inglis' account of the day here.

Continue ReadingVeteran Says Phoenix Story Saved His Life

The Globe's thesis is that "falling advertising revenue" is forcing weekly papers to "scale back dramatically." But Phoenix Media/Communications Group president Bradley Mindich says his publications don't fit that mold. "We are not cutting back," he tells reporter Johnny Diaz, who nevertheless intimates that the Boston Phoenix is using less color and sharing film reviews with its newly-acquired Spanish-language weekly to save money. "We actually have more color now" and cutting expenses is not the primary reason his papers are sharing content, Mindich tells AAN News. Weekly Dig publisher Jeff Lawrence says the story was mostly accurate but that it suffered from faulty framing: "Our business model is intentionally evolving -- not reacting to the economy," he tells AAN News.

Continue ReadingPublishers Take Issue With Boston Globe Report

Boston Phoenix staff writer David Bernstein was named Journalist of the Year by the New England Press Association. He also brought home two additional first-place awards for the Phoenix -- in the Investigative Reporting and Serious Columnist categories. "Mr. Bernstein's in-depth articles are compelling and hyper-relevant, challenging myths and assumptions with sharp, clear reporting and a highly readable writing style," the judges write. "Very impressive!" All in all, the Phoenix won another nine awards, including additional first-place wins for Convergence and Reporting on Religious Issues. Worcester Magazine took home six awards, including first-place finishes in the Personality Photo, Social Issues Feature Story and Local Ad: Color categories. Boston's Weekly Dig won four awards, finishing first in Educational Reporting, Infographics and Transportation/Commuter Reporting. The Portland Phoenix also won four awards, and placed first in the General News Story category.

Continue ReadingFour AAN Members Win Scores of Regional Press Awards

"Film critics and scholars have a tumultuous relationship with a system that is meant to help guide readers but may also encourage some to skip the review entirely," the Wall Street Journal reports in a story on the ubiquitous star system. Boston Phoenix critic Gerald Peary, who is also the director of an upcoming documentary on film criticism, tells the Journal that he's required to hand out stars -- but he doesn't like it. "The apple has been bitten by everybody, and it's a rotten apple," Peary says. But Las Vegas Weekly critic Mike D'Angelo says he likes the system, especially when approaching a film as a fan. "I prefer that critics use some sort of scale, personally, because I don't want to know much about a movie before seeing it," D'Angelo says.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Film Critics Weigh in On Star Ratings

Fairey, the longtime street artist who gained even more recognition in 2008 as the creator of an iconic Barack Obama poster, stopped by the Boston Phoenix's offices yesterday to turn the building's facade into a wheat-paste poster mural. The alt-weekly has video of the project on its site.

Continue ReadingShepard Fairey Posters the Boston Phoenix Building

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is requiring that all news boxes on its property be easy to check visually for security concerns. Boston Phoenix circulation director Jim Dorgan tells AAN News that the policy goes into effect next Friday, Dec. 12. He says that, as a result of the new regulations, the Phoenix and its related publications had to purchase more than 200 new boxes, which each cost $85 more than a regular news box. He also says the MBTA is requiring the boxes be chained, and that 12 inches of space separate each box. The Weekly Dig's Jeff Lawrence tells us that while his paper will eventually buy some clear boxes and put them in MBTA stations, for the most part, distributing outside on city streets is still cheaper and the best strategy for the Dig.

Continue ReadingBoston Transit Agency is Requiring Clear News Boxes

Gerald Peary, who has been a critic for more 30 years, celebrated his career last night with a special screening of his three favorite films at a Cambridge theater. To mark that occasion, he spoke with BU Daily about how film criticism has changed over the years, his film-crit documentary For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism, and the difference between reviewing and criticism. "Reviewing is the basic lunch bucket job that everybody does, which is consumer reporting," Peary says. "But what a critic does in addition is contextualize the movie in terms of history, politics, a filmmaker's career, and genre. A film critic sees the movie as just a starting point for a more general discussion."

Continue ReadingBoston Phoenix Film Critic on the State of Film Criticism

To celebrate Halloween this year, the Phoenix has prepared a "field guide of sorts" to the "fire-breathing bloviators [who] are using political bogeymen, scare tactics, and scorched-earth ideology to rally their base." The paper argues that the impending likely takeover of the White House and Congress by Democrats will only serve to "make these conservatives angry -- and thus exponentially even more dangerous." Coming in at number one is the omnipresent TV and radio talker Sean Hannity. The rest of the top 10 is, as follows: Richard Lowry, Mike Pence, Matt Drudge, Bill Kristol, Roger Ailes, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Jon Kyl, and Jeb Hensarling. For the full list, check the Phoenix's website.

Continue ReadingThe Boston Phoenix Names America’s 25 Scariest Conservatives

The American Mustache Institute's (AMI) first ever "Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year" contest recognizes "the most impactful Mustached American of the past year." Among this year's nominees are Bob Barr, Jason Giambi, and the staff of the Boston Phoenix. The alt-weekly made the cut for implementing "a mandatory mustache policy" earlier this year, and for its overall "commitment to the Mustached American movement." Voting will be open to the public until Oct. 17, and the winner will be announced Oct. 25.

Continue ReadingBoston Phoenix Staff is Up for Mustache Award

P.J. Corkery, who was editor of the Phoenix in the early 1970s, died Saturday at Stanford Hospital in California after fighting non-Hodgkins lymphoma for two years, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. He was 61. After the Phoenix, Corkery went on to have a long and fruitful journalism career -- he was a columnist for the San Francisco Examiner, the author of the best-selling Carson: The Unauthorized Biography, and wrote for numerous newspapers and magazines. He also served as a judge for 2001's AltWeekly Awards.

Continue ReadingFormer Boston Phoenix Editor Dies