Los Angeles Times staff writer Scott Martelle describes the fears and hopes for L.A. Weekly's role in the New Times-controlled Village Voice Media. He details the turbulent recent history of alt-weeklies in Los Angeles and speaks to several notable Angelenos. Local pol Jackie Goldberg, "a frequent target of New Times LA columnists" during New Times' previous residency in the city, says: "They were not just a gadfly, they were an assault vehicle." Martelle also speaks to a few current L.A. Weekly staff members, including editor Laurie Ochoa, and addresses speculation that Phoenix New Times editor Rick Barrs will replace her. (Barrs says that he hasn't been asked, but adds that he would "have mixed emotions about it.")

Continue ReadingLos Angeles Ponders the Future of L.A. Weekly

The Cincinnati alt-weekly is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this week and marks the occasion with a special section that reflects upon some of the paper's noteworthy journalistic achievements -- from saving the life of an innocent man on Death Row to shining a light on a local daily's forfeiture of editorial control to the Chiquita banana company. "Fawning over ourselves with an anniversary issue makes me uncomfortable," co-publisher and editor John Fox writes. "But 10 years of being the liberal voice in a conservative town is something to celebrate."

Continue ReadingCincinnati CityBeat Hits Double-Digits

Utne magazine has announced the nominees for its 2004 Independent Press Awards, and Association of Alternative Newsweeklies member papers dominate the "Local/Regional Coverage" category. Austin Chronicle, Chicago Reader, The Stranger, The Texas Observer and Westword all received nominations, as did Los Angeles CityBeat, an upstart alt-weekly that's only been publishing for 16 months. Nominees were chosen from among 2,000 alternative media sources. According to the Utne Web site, selection depended partly upon which publications were "most apt to go missing from the Utne library."

Continue ReadingUtne Awards Acknowledge Alts

They need to make a living but can't afford to let the conformity demanded by some day jobs sap their creative spirit. Independent Weekly's Leslie Land, Tucson Weekly's Marc Desilets and others explain the migration of musicians to the classified sales departments of alternative newsweeklies. What's the appeal? Good pay, good vibes -- altogether a decent daylight gig for a breed that Cincinnati CityBeat's Chuck Davis has dubbed "rawker-ad-hawkers."

Continue ReadingReal Musicians Have Day Jobs

"This was the definition of silly," a Republican council member says of the Cincinnati City Council's move to subpoena Leslie Blade to talk about her investigative piece. Having Blade testify brought the council no more information than reading the story, he says. Blade refused to answer a few questions during her half-hour appearance before the council Tuesday but said she wrote the article because "you're talking about public funds—about public trust—and the rules should be followed."

Continue ReadingSubpoenaed CityBeat Reporter Tells Council Why She Wrote about Police Pay Abuse