As the 2010 Winter Olympics enter their final week, Vancouver's alt-weekly continues to work round-the-clock to cover both the games themselves, as well as all the cultural and entertainment happenings coinciding with the international competition. Straight editor Charlie Smith tells AAN News that they opted not to produce any special print editions, and have had to actually tweak their print distribution strategies in light of the influx of people and numerous street closings. Online, though, he says the Straight has been going all out, with nearly all of the editorial staff covering some aspect of the games, including stories that have been picked up in Europe. The paper's running all Olympic coverage through a main Olympic portal, and it is also running a dedicated Olympics blog and featuring numerous Olympic photo galleries. Smith says the comprehensive coverage has translated to a "huge spike" in web traffic. "In the first week, traffic was up more than 100 percent," he says.
Charlie Deitch received the Ray Sprigle Memorial Award, a "best in show" award, for his coverage of gambling in Pennsylvania. The alt-weekly also placed first in six categories (Business; Continuing Coverage; Criticism; Cultural; Enterprise/Investigative Article; Science, Health & Technology), and had finalists in three additional categories. The awards, given by the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania, were announced last night.