Erstwhile Observer Music Editor Zac Crain confirmed to his former employer: "Yes, I'm running, and I'm very excited. I'm not high, and it's not a joke." The current mayor of Dallas, Laura Miller, wrote a column for the Observer before launching her political career. The Observer describes Crain as a "great writer" and "nice guy" and jibes, "On balance, among former Observer staffers, Dallas could do worse for mayor -- not that we have anyone particularly in mind when we say that." Crain, now an associate editor at American Way magazine, plans to make an official announcement on April 24.
According to the Dallas Voice, the civil suit stemmed from a Dec. 4, 2003 article on financial mismanagement within a Dallas church, in which the Observer named an HIV-positive volunteer who it claimed was on the church's employee health plan. The volunteer, who filed the lawsuit under the name John Doe, alleged that the Observer had violated the Texas Health and Safety Code, which prohibits the disclosure of HIV test results. The court's written opinion rejected the lawsuit on the grounds that the newspaper did not have access to test results or other confidential medical information; the newspaper had learned of the plaintiff's HIV-positive status through another member of the church. The Dallas Observer's Feb. 2 issue reported the "happy ending to a silly lawsuit" and again named the plaintiff, who still may request a rehearing or appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.
John Saltas pokes fun at Warchol, a former Dallas Observer journalist, in his Jan. 19 Salt Lake City Weekly column, claiming that a recent photo of Warchol reveals the true age of the alt-weekly business. Writes Saltas, "I can't speak for my peers .. but if the face of AAN is the face of Glen -- who by the looks of things can no longer "Do the Hustle" -- we're toast. If Glen's old, I'm old, and all my friends are old. Alternative papers are old. At least, thank God, I have my hair."
When he covered media for the Dallas Observer, Eric Celeste wanted to do more than deliver "bee stings" to the local daily. He wanted to delve into the paper's inner workings. His award-winning article, "At the Ripping Point," examined a newspaper consulting company's role in the decline of The Dallas Morning News. This is the 21st in a "How I Got That Story" series highlighting the AltWeekly Awards' first-place winners.
The National Association of Black Journalists announced the winners of its Salute to Excellence Awards competition this weekend in Washington, D.C. The organization handed out six first-place prizes for newspapers with circulations of 150,000 or less, and every last one of them were awarded to New Times papers. Here's the complete list of NABJ award winners.
The recipients of this year's National Association of Black Journalists Awards were announced Oct. 9 in Washington, D.C. New Times writers fared impressively, winning nine of the 22 awards handed out to newspapers with a circulation of 150,000 or less. Dallas Observer, Cleveland Scene, Phoenix New Times and New Times Broward-Palm Beach each had writers take home awards, while Riverfront Times writers won four awards -- including a clean sweep of the business category by Randall Roberts and Mike Seely. According to the NABJ, the awards recognize "outstanding coverage of people or important issues in the African diaspora."
The Texas Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Dallas Observer in a lawsuit brought by two Denton County public officials, reports the Houston Chronicle. Judge Darlene Whitten and District Attorney Bruce Isaacks sued the paper for libel over a satire published in 1999. The piece, titled "Stop the Madness," was a parody of the actual arrest of a 13-year-old girl for reading a graphic Halloween story to her class. The Supreme Court backed its 8-0 ruling by saying that a reasonable reader of the entire article about a fictional 6-year-old girl's arrest would realize it was not true and was intended as satire.
Finalists have been announced in the annual Salute to Excellence Awards sponsored by the National Association of Black Journalists. More than half of the finalists named for papers with a circulation under 150,000 are from New Times papers. The Riverfront Times of St. Louis has four stories nominated, including two by staff writer Mike Seely. The Cleveland Scene boasts two finalists. Phoenix New Times, Dallas Observer and New Times Broward-Palm Beach are also represented on the short-list. Winners will be announced at the NABJ's awards banquet Oct. 9 in Washington, D.C.