AAN members took home a fair share of the honors last week in the First Amendment Awards competition sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists' Fort Worth pro chapter, winning a combined three first places among eight print categories in the Texas-Oklahoma contest. Fort Worth Weekly took first place in the Reporting on Open Government and student categories, while the Houston Press finished first in the Defending the Disadvantaged category. The Weekly also won an additional second-place award, and the Press took one more second- and third-place finish.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weeklies Honored by Fort Worth SPJ Chapter

AAN members are once again well-represented in the list of finalists for this year's James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards. Robb Walsh of the Houston Press and SF Weekly's Eliza Strickland are both nominated in the Newspaper Feature Writing About Restaurants and/or Chefs category, while Westword's Jason Sheehan is nominated in the Restaurant Reviews category. Winners will be announced June 8 at a reception in New York. The awards recognize and honor excellence and achievement in the culinary arts.

Continue ReadingThree Alt-Weekly Writers Up for James Beard Awards

Houston Press picked up three first-place awards, for Best Feature Article, Best Public Service Series or Article, and Best Cover. Two other VVM papers took home first place awards: Phoenix New Times for Best Series of Articles and SF Weekly for Tabloids/Consumer, which is the category for best overall publication. The Maggies, given out by the Western Publications Association, "recognize the hard work, dedication and creative talents working in the publishing industry today."

Continue ReadingVillage Voice Media Papers Win Five Maggie Awards

Houston Press food critic Robb Walsh's seventh book, The Texas Cowboy Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos, was released earlier this month by Broadway Books. The Post-Gazette says it's "full of hearty and luscious recipes as well as lore about, and photos of, cowboys that'll lasso you, even if you never cook one of these multiculturally inspired dishes." These dishes include the adventerous "Son of a Bitch," which features tongue from a suckling calf, chitterlings, half a liver, a heart, a kidney, skirt steaks and brains. "I've tasted it," Walsh says. "I've never cooked it."

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Writer’s ‘Cowboy Cookbook’ Examines Texas Food History

The Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists presented a total of seven First Amendment awards to Fort Worth Weekly and the Houston Press last week, the Houston Chronicle reports. The Weekly won a first-place award in the "Student" category for their collaborative effort with students on excessive use of Tasers by law enforcement. In addition, the Weekly won two second-place and one third-place awards, while the Houston Press won two third-place and one second-place award.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weeklies Take Home SPJ Awards in Texas

All the finalists in the "Newspapers: Local Circulation Weeklies" category were AAN members, but Todd Spivak came out on top for "Run Over By Metro." The prestigious awards, given by Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc., recognize the most outstanding watchdog journalism of the year. Judges said Spivak's "compelling and vivid narrative writing gives extraordinary power to the victims' stories and fuels the outrage over the agency's misconduct." The other finalists were Sarah Fenske of Phoenix New Times (for "Cracked Houses"), Dan Frosch of the Santa Fe Reporter (for "The Wexford Files"), and Matthew Fleischer of LA Weekly (for "Navahoax").

Continue ReadingHouston Press Reporter Wins IRE Award

AAN members are well-represented in the 2006 awards given out by the Education Writers Association, with a near-sweep of "Feature, News Feature or Issue Package" for papers under 100,000 circulation. In that category, Todd Spivak of the Houston Press took home First Place for "Cut Short," while Special Citations were awarded to Willamette Week's Beth Slovic for "Illegal Scholar," the Houston Press' Margaret Downing for "Opt In, Opt Out," and New Times Broward-Palm Beach's Kelly Cramer for "FCAT Scratch Fever." Kristen Hinman of Riverfront Times received a First Place award in the "Investigative Reporting" category for her Vashon High School Series.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weeklies Take Home Five National Awards for Education Reporting

As a guard for Springfield (Ill.) High School in the early 90's, Shatonia Levy scored 2,043 points and made all-state teams chosen by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and the Champaign News-Gazette. It is perhaps appropriate, then, that she ended up in the newspaper biz. The brain-tumor survivor, who now runs promotions and marketing for the Houston weekly, is a high school basketball "legend," according to a profile in the State-Journal Register. "She has the best all-around skills of any kid that I have seen come out of the city," says a former coach. "Her instincts were just so good. There was nothing she couldn't do."

Continue ReadingHouston Press Marketing Manager Also Former Hoops Star