His fabrications in The Village Voice were "neither culturally significant nor journalistically shocking," Philadelphia City Paper founder and former owner Bruce Schimmel writes in his weekly column, and the disciplinary actions that resulted were "a shot across the bow of the mother ship of New Journalism." But Duane Swierczynski uses his editor's letter to disagree: "If we're not vigilant about separating truth from fiction, can you imagine what schoolkids will be saying about George W. Bush in 200 years?" Fabrications are too often rewarded, and editors who prod writers for amazing dialogue need to be equally passionate about checking accuracy, Swierczynski argues.

Continue ReadingHow Severe Were Nick Sylvester’s Transgressions?

San Francisco Bay Guardian is planning a year-long anniversary celebration, starting with a strikingly different look. In the Jan. 11 issue, Executive Editor Tim Redmond calls the new design "both far more modern and in keeping with the historical mission of this newspaper." The Bay Guardian was founded in 1966 by Bruce B. Brugmann and his wife Jean Dibble; Brugmann is still the editor and publisher, and Dibble is the associate publisher. The paper has also re-adopted its original logo; Redmond says the move demonstrates that the vision Brugmann and Dibble had "when they started the Guardian is still what we're about today: Printing the news and raising hell."

Continue ReadingBay Guardian Debuts 40th Anniversary Redesign

According to Cleveland's The Plain Dealer, Attorney General Jim Petro is looking for potential antitrust violations that would result from the merger. The paper quotes a senior attorney with Petro's office who said the deal "raises new concerns that combining these two publishing companies would eliminate or restrain competition between them in some markets where they operate rival newsweeklies with overlapping advertising and news coverage." (Ed.: VVM and New Times no longer operate "rival newsweeklies" in the same market.) The attorney was commenting in response to a letter complaining about the merger written by Terry Smith, the editor of AAN-member paper The Athens News.

Continue ReadingOhio ‘Studying’ Village Voice-New Times Merger

The non-profit Inter American Press Association will host its 61st General Assembly Oct. 7-11 in Indianapolis. "This is a great group, doing extraordinary work in the Americas (from Canada down to Argentina) and of particular interest to the alternative press for a lot of good editorial and business reasons," writes San Francisco Bay Guardian editor and publisher Bruce Brugmann. "Among them: a snapshot of the action in the Americas, lots of good news and editorial ideas, entree into the latest in technology and business developments, and most important a direct way to really lend a hand to supporting a free press in these critical countries." Registration information is available through the organization's Web site; the association has more than 1,300 members from newspapers and magazines throughout the Americas.

Continue ReadingInter American Press Association Announces General Assembly

While San Francisco Bay Guardian's Bruce B. Brugmann was railing against a New Times-Village Voice Media merger that is still merely a rumor, his competitors at the New Times-owned SF Weekly were commissioning a handwriting analysis of the outspoken publisher. The handwriting expert says that B3's penmanship suggests that he's smart, respectful, and generous, and that he's "very much in control of himself and .... confident in how he impresses himself upon his environment." She also says he's a few other things as well.

Continue ReadingAnother Skirmish in the Alt-Weekly War in San Francisco