The papers won a total of 24 awards in the New York Press Association's annual Better Newspaper Contest. Long Island Press won eight awards, including the Sharon R. Fulmer Award for Community Leadership and first-place wins for Coverage of Elections/Politics, Feature Story, Headline Writing, and In-Depth Reporting. Syracuse New Times and the Ithaca Times won five awards each, with New Times taking first for Advertising Excellence, Special Holiday Edition and Sports Action Photo and the Times placing first for Coverage of the Environment and Coverage of Local Government. The New York Press also won six awards.
Robbie Woliver tells AAN News via email that Alphabet Kids - From ADD to Zellweger Syndrome: A Guide to Developmental, Neurobiological and Psychological Disorders for Parents and Professionals was "the book I could have used 15 years ago." Inspired by his own child, he chose to write the book to "provide a road map for parents to help them muddle through the alphabet soup of diagnoses so many children are receiving these days -- many of which are incorrect." In the course of researching and writing, Woliver says he and his wife became inspired to start a nonprofit called Your Day Away that provides a day of respite and support for parents of children with special needs. The nonprofit kicked off in November, and will run as a daily ongoing organization starting next month.
Timothy Bolger describes how he was held for three hours by Secret Service agents before last Wednesday's presidential debate because of "volatile" wifi signals emanating from his computer. "They said they wanted to check my machine to see if there was something that I had installed to bring down the debates, or determine if my computer was simply the victim of hackers and an ineffective virus scanner," he writes. However, "of most interest to them were my instant messages, especially those to my friend Dave. ... His less-than-flattering comments about vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin and his asking if I would meet the candidates raised eyebrows for the investigators." Bolger was eventually released before the debate, though he was ordered not to use wifi for the rest of the evening.
The Press is partnering with The Independent "to offer advertisers a two-paper deal that officials at the free weeklies tout as an 'all Island' option," Newsday reports. The deal was hatched a few months ago during a meeting of the papers' publishers and key officials to discuss a "strategic alliance," according to Michael Castonguay, chief financial officer of the Long Island Press. "It's an advertising-marketing partnership that we hope will expand as we continue to grow on Long Island," he says. According to Newsday, the Press has a circulation of more than 97,000, and the Independent has a circulation of about 20,000.
Peter Serafin has told Hunter Bishop that he and his staff hope are planning to have a publication out next month. The Journal ceased publishing last month, one week after it was accepted as a member of AAN. It is unclear if the new publication will be a resurrected Journal, or something entirely new.
Peter Serafin spoke before the Hawaii County Planning Committee on Tuesday regarding the details of the Journal's recent closing. He said that a major source of financial difficulty for the Journal was that it had to be printed in Honolulu at the Star-Bulletin press, not on the island of Hawaii. "Stephens Media owns the only two Web presses on this island," Serafin testified. The Journal approached Stephens about getting the paper printed there, but their response was, "We'll only print the Journal if you sell us a controlling interest," he said. Serafin also said the paper was hurt by Stephens' launch of "Big Island Weekly, a copycat paper specifically created to drive the Journal out of business." He said that the Weekly sold ad space below cost in an effort to kill the Journal, and compared the situation in Hawaii to the one in San Francisco, where a jury ruled in favor of the Bay Guardian in its predatory-pricing suit against SF Weekly.
"I think our primary problem was simply finding solid sales reps," Laurie Carlson tells the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. The Journal, which was accepted as a member of AAN last weekend, will print its last issue this weekend. Carlson also says it "wasn't a helpful thing" for the Journal that the Stephens Media Group, owner of the island's two daily papers, started its own alternative paper about a year ago. "They have much deeper pockets and they can run something that was heavily subsidized and we can't," she says. "It's a very sad thing."
The Journal, which was voted into AAN on Saturday in Philadelphia, will close after its next edition is printed this weekend, according to the Honolulu Advertiser. The paper, which was founded in 1999, was owned by Pacific Catalyst Publishing LLC, which also owns AAN member Honolulu Weekly. "The Journal faced a direct challenge for more than a year from the new Big Island Weekly published by Stephens Media Group," the Advertiser reports. Editor Peter Serafin tells the Pacific Business News that publisher Laurie Carlson told him Monday about the paper's closure but gave no reason for the shutdown. "It came as a complete surprise," he says.
In this year's installment of the Education Writers Association's journalism contest, Rob Jordan of the Miami New Times and April Jimenez of the Long Island Press both received first-place awards in the Feature, News Feature, or Issue Package category in different circulation divisions (Jordan in under 100,000; Jimenez in over 100,000). In addition, Westword's Luke Turf took home a special citation award in the same category for papers with a circulation under 100,000.