The Independent Weekly's Derek Anderson was named Photographer of the Year by the NCPA, and the Weekly took home four first-place awards, for Investigative Reporting, Feature Photography, Photo Page, and News Coverage. The paper also placed second in two categories and third in one. Creative Loafing (Charlotte) finished first in two categories: News Feature Writing and Lighter Columns. Mountain XPress also took a second-place award for Investigative Reporting, and a third-place "general excellence" award for its website.
"Hey, this is cool," Matt Brunson remembers thinking when he was offered the opportunity to write for the alt-weekly in 1988. "I'll be able to earn a couple of extra bucks before this paper folds within the year." Twenty years later, he's Creative Loafing's associate editor and A&E editor. "When this paper started, hardly any of us really knew what we were doing," writes former editor-in-chief John Grooms. "It was [Creative Loafing's] first expansion into another city, and the nuts and bolts of how to do it, more often than not, were up in the air." He says the paper has succeeded because it's "been a source of good writing and quality information, speaking to the reader directly and urging readers to talk back as loudly as they want."
Jan Caldwell, a classified sales rep for Creative Loafing (Charlotte), is the winner of the AAN CAN trip to Peru. Caldwell won by selling the most new advertising in the AAN CAN network between Nov. 10 and Jan. 31. When notified yesterday, she reacted with disbelief, then quickly called her daughter and the friend she is planning to take with her on her trip. Caldwell may rake in other goodies as well, since some classified managers decided to make the contest more interesting by wagering items such as wine and tour books via the AAN Classified Management mailing list.
It wasn't a phoned-in tip that led to Tara Servatius's story for Creative Loafing (Charlotte), "Flawed Priorities," but some statistics she stumbled across on a Web site. Once she started crunching numbers, she was hooked. Her inquiry led her to draw some pointed conclusions about why students at certain Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools were lagging behind other students. This is the 10th in a "How I Got That Story" series highlighting the AltWeekly Awards' first-place winners.
Creative Loafing Charlotte "is still waiting for some kind of clarification or retraction after a March 16 WCNC-TV report that had a Charlotte-Mecklenburg vice officer saying that CL is kind of a pimp for illegal 'spas,'" Shannon Reichley writes. No one on the broadcast accused the daily Charlotte Observer, which runs the same ads, of pimping, the alt-weekly's media columnist complains. Still, she's never liked the fact that the two papers earn cash from businesses she describes as legitimate but "sleazoids."
Patients' private medical or psychiatric records could go up on the Web, and there's little the victims could do to get them down, Tara Servatius reports in Creative Loafing Charlotte. Jignesh Tanna of Vashi Transcribe in India threatened U.S. doctors that he'd publish their patients' records if a North Carolina firm, Accuscribe, didn't pay his company the money he felt it was owed. Although he later retracted the warning, the dispute remains unresolved. Servatius describes how outsourcing dilutes the privacy protections contained in the Health Insurance Portablity and Accountability Act.