When a news website in Pasadena made headlines last year for its decision to outsource City Hall coverage to reporters in India, the group managing editor of the Hartford Advocate, New Haven Advocate and Fairfield County Weekly wondered if his three alt-weeklies could do the same thing. While John Adamian's idea started as a joke, it quickly led to an actual exercise in outsourcing journalism -- and the results are this week's papers, which have been mostly generated by Indian freelancers. The papers say the experiment proves that outsourcing a local newspaper is possible, but not recommended. "Call us old-school, but we think good, old-fashioned shoe-leather journalism is worth the price," the staff writes in an editors' note. "Outsourcing could certainly fill pages, probably very cheaply, but what's lost is the very essence of local newspapers: presence."

Continue ReadingConnecticut Alt-Weeklies Outsource This Week’s Issue

Matt Singer, formerly a staffer at the Ventura County Reporter, moved up the coast to Portland in October with hopes of landing another alt-weekly editorial gig. The Wall Street Journal reports that Singer's quest has been less-than-successful, and uses that anecdote as a springboard into a piece that details how cities like Portland are dealing with a continual influx of hipsters and fewer and fewer jobs. (A story BusinessInsider.com summarized as: "Hipsters In Portland Can't Get Jobs Writing For Alt-Weekly Newspapers.") Willamette Week gets a shout-out in the story as well, for its new "Restaurant Apocalypse" column, which keeps track of the city's myriad restaurant closings.

Continue ReadingRecession’s Latest Victim: Hipsters?

Steve Greenberg, who drew editorial cartoons for the Ventura County Star until a few months ago, will now draw weekly cartoons for the Ventura County Reporter. In December, Brian Duffy made a similar jump in Des Moines, Iowa. "The Reporter is giving me a chance to restart and recharge," Greenberg writes. "Sometimes, when the roller-coaster stops working, you've gotta give the Ferris wheel a spin."

Continue ReadingAnother Axed Editorial Cartoonist Finds a Home at an Alt-Weekly

The embattled Tribune Company, which owns three AAN papers, has hired an investment bank and law firm in recent days to advise the company on a possible trip through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to the Wall Street Journal. Tribune owns the Fairfield County Weekly, Hartford Advocate and New Haven Advocate. Sources tell the Journal that a filing could come as early as this week. UPDATE (4:05 pm): The company did indeed file for bankruptcy protection today, and will stop making interest payments on $12 billion in debt as it attempts to restructure its loans, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Continue ReadingTribune Co. Reportedly Considering Bankruptcy Filing

Weekly reporter Kera Abraham took home a third-place award in the Outstanding Small Market Reporting (Print) category in the Society of Environmental Journalists' annual awards for reporting on the environment. "Abraham did an excellent job with two divergent environmental issues," the judges write, "the omnipresent plastic in the aquatic environment, and the destructive environmental practices of marijuana farms on federal park land."

Continue ReadingMonterey County Weekly Writer Wins Environmental Reporting Award

The Weekly celebrates an historic milestone with a special 20th anniversary issue that hit the streets (and the web) yesterday. The 200-page issue, which is saddle stitched and features the Weekly's first-ever glossy cover, "takes a long backwards glance at the people, the institutions, the buildings, the parties and the natural disasters that have helped shape the community" since Coast Weekly (the paper's original name) debuted in the fall of 1988. "The community support has been fantastic for this issue, in much the same way it has been for the last twenty years," says founder and CEO Bradley Zeve.

Continue ReadingMonterey County Weekly: Looking Good at 20

AAN News has learned that Tom Gogola is no longer the editor of the Tribune Company's AAN-member paper in suburban Connecticut. No replacement has been named. Associate editor Nick Keppler has temporarily assumed the editorial reins, according to Josh Mamis, group publisher for the Weekly and the three other New Mass. Media papers.

Continue ReadingFairfield County Weekly Parts Ways With Editor

When the Los Angeles Press Club announced the 50th annual Southern California Journalism Awards on Saturday night, five AAN papers and an Associate Member were honored. LA Weekly took home 16 awards, including first place in Editorial Cartoon, Entertainment Feature, Online Entertainment, News/Feature/Commentary and Signed Commentary. OC Weekly won a total of five awards, including first place for Entertainment Reviews/Criticism/Column, Group Blog, and Sports. Ventura County Reporter received a first-place prize for News Feature, while Los Angeles CityBeat won three awards and Pasadena Weekly won two. Associate Member Amy Alkon, aka the Advice Goddess, won four awards, including first place for Column.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weeklies Well-Represented in LA Press Club Awards

Bill Lascher says in an email that June 25 will be his last day as editor of the Reporter, as he leaves to attend a new master's program in specialized journalism at the University of Southern California. He will be replaced by Michael Sullivan, who was previously a writer at the Fresno Business Journal and a freelancer with the Reporter and the Ventura County Star.

Continue ReadingVentura County Reporter Editor Steps Down