OC Weekly editor Nick Schou's book about the dire last days of journalist Gary Webb is out at last, and many AAN members are excerpting it. Schou first met Webb at the peak of the controversy over "Dark Alliance," his 1996 San Jose Mercury Press series on collusion between the CIA and cocaine-trafficking Nicaraguan contras. Scourged by the mainstream media, a broke and unconsolable Webb sank into depression and committed suicide in December 2004. "Kill the Messenger: How the CIA's Crack Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Gary Webb" grew out of an OC Weekly article Schou wrote following his death. In "In These Times," former Village Voice columnist Doug Ireland calls Schou's book a "a meticulous, balanced account" of the affair and "a cautionary tale for anyone considering a career in investigative journalism."

Continue ReadingHot Off the Press: The Tragedy of Gary Webb

According to Publisher/Editor Will Swaim, News and Investigations Editor Nick Schou will pen a biography of Gary Webb, the late investigative journalist, for Nation Books. Webb is best known for his San Jose Mercury News "Dark Alliance" series, which explored links between the CIA, Nicaraguan contras, and crack cocaine. Webb worked briefly at the Sacramento News and Review before his suicide in 2004. Schou has reported on the controversy over the "Dark Alliance" series in several articles for OC Weekly.

Continue ReadingOC Weekly Writer Signs Book Deal

Investigate reporter Gary Webb is remembered at Sacramento News & Review, where he had been on staff since August 2004. In a special feature, the paper compiles links to his articles, remembrances by friends and colleagues and retrospections upon his body of work. Webb is best known for his "Dark Alliances" series for the San Jose Mercury News and the subsequent (many contend unjust) virulent backlash against it in the mainstream press. A piece by Bill Forman and Melinda Welsh concludes with a transcript of a talk Webb gave in 1999, in which he tells his audience, "It's really kind of scary when you think about how capricious life is sometimes."

Continue ReadingGary Webb Remembered at Sacramento News & Review

Gary Webb, an award-winning investigative journalist and Sacramento News & Review political reporter, was found dead in his home on Friday morning of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the head, reports the Sacramento Bee. Webb is best known for his work at the San Jose Mercury News, specifically a controversial series of articles called "Dark Alliances," which reported connections between crack dealers in South Central Los Angeles, the Nicaraguan Contra rebels and the Central Intelligence Agency. The News & Review hired Webb in August 2004 to cover politics and state government. He is survived by three children.

Continue ReadingSacramento News & Review Political Reporter Found Dead

“This book, I hope, is a book of encounters, none of them predictable,” novelist and music writer Jonathan Lethem writes in his introduction to “Da Capo Best Music Writing 2002.” Seven of the 28 articles in the collection were originally published in alternative newsweeklies, including The Village Voice, Chicago Reader and City Pages (Twin Cities).

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Writers Appear in Da Capo Collection