The Connecticut alt-weekly this week introduced "High Concept," a new pot advice column that aims to "address questions of all the smokers out there" in an "entertaining but also useful and informative" way. "We're hoping there will be smart questions about neuroscience, memory studies, the law, high quality, pot culture, etc.," Advocate managing editor John Adamian says in an email.

Continue ReadingHartford Advocate Launches Pot Advice Column

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

"What does this mean for the Advocates? Who the fuck knows? We're so low in the Tribune food chain that we're not even mentioned in the annual reports," writes Christopher Arnott, who spent 17 years as an Advocate staffer before going full-time freelance. "The Advocate's sucked it up before and [stayed] alive in hard times. Let's hope the corporation gives it the chance to do it again."

Continue ReadingAdvocate Freelancer Weighs in on Tribune Bankruptcy Filing

The Phoenix was named "Newspaper of the Year" in the alternative weekly division by the New England Press Association in its 2007 Better Newspaper Contest. "After 40 years, the Boston Phoenix remains a model for alts, bristling with attitude and loaded with coverage of entertainment, culture, politics, and tweaking of the daily press," the judges say. The Boston alt-weekly led the pack of AAN papers represented in the awards with 12 first-place finishes. Boston's Weekly Dig was close behind it's crosstown competitor, grabbing seven first-place awards. The Portland Phoenix and Worcester Magazine each finished first in three categories, while the Hartford Advocate and the Providence Phoenix each took home one first-place award.

Continue ReadingNEPA Names Boston Phoenix ‘Newspaper of the Year,’ Gives Alts Many Awards

John Boonstra, a 54-year-old film reviewer for the Hartford Advocate, had arranged a meeting with what he thought was an underage girl on Friday, police tell the Courant. Instead, he found the officers who had been posing as the girl online and was arrested. Boonstra was charged with criminal attempt at risk of injury to a minor and criminal attempt at second-degree sexual assault, although police say additional charges related to the incident are expected.

Continue ReadingCops: Alt-Weekly Film Reviewer Tried to Meet Underage Girl for Sex

The Hartford New Haven Advocate ran an ad (pictured) last week that was rejected by the New York Times and the New Haven Register because it portrayed a nude figure, the Yale Daily News reports. The ad, for the Yale Repertory Theatre's production of Lulu, featured a photograph of a woman's bare torso with an apple obscuring her pubic area. (The Hartford Courant reproduced a copy of the image for a story it ran after the Times and Register rejected the ad. The Courant, like the New Haven Advocate, is owned by the Tribune Co.) The theater's associate marketing director says that few have raised objections to the ad other than the daily papers.

Continue Reading‘Obscene’ Ad Refused by Dailies Runs in Alt-Weekly