The Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) has announced the winners in its 2010 awards competition, and four AAN members are in the mix. Miami New Times has placed in three categories -- Best Newspaper Food Feature (under 200K circ.), Best Newspaper Food Story and Best Newspaper Food Criticism. The Village Voice staff is competing in the Best Newspaper Food Coverage (150-250K circ.) category, while the L.A. Weekly staff is in the running for Best Food Blog. And the Mountain Xpress' Hanna Raskin, who recently decamped to the Dallas Observer, is competing in the Best Newspaper Food Column category. The placement of the winners will be announced at AFJ's annual conference in September.
Writers from the Chicago Reader, L.A. Weekly and Westword all took home top prizes at this year's James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards, which recognize excellence in food writing. The Reader's Cliff Doerksen won in the Newspaper Feature Writing category for his feature on mince pie, and Westword's Jared Jacang Maher came out on top in the Newspaper Feature Writing About Restaurants and/or Chefs category for his piece on the pay-what-you-want SAME Cafe. Meanwhile, the Weekly's Pulitzer-winning food critic Jonathan Gold added another awards notch to his belt with a win in the Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Reviews category.
Rich died on Friday at his home in West Los Angeles. He was 85. Rich was the chief classical music critic at the Weekly from 1992 to 2008; he later briefly found a home at LA CityBeat before it closed up shop. On Twitter, Weekly food critic Jonathan Gold eulogized Rich as "the last great critic in LA."
A show called "Paper Dresses" that hit runways during the recent L.A. Fashion Week featured clothes made out of the L.A. Weekly. "It might have had a Project Runway challenge feel, but there was no denying the crafting skills, creative construction and whimsy of each and every piece on display," the Weekly's Lina Lecaro writes. "The presentation also served as a reminder of one thing print journalism will always have over web: cool, colorful cover pages."
Finalists for the third annual Los Angeles Press Club National Entertainment Journalism Awards were announced this week. L.A. Weekly received five nominations, including three for former film critic Scott Foundas, who was included in the best critic category. The Weekly's film issue was nominated for "best entertainment publication," and staff writer Libby Molyneaux got a best feature (under 1,000 words) nod.
As usual, AAN members are well-represented in the list of finalists for the 2010 James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards, which recognize excellence in food writing. The L.A. Weekly's Jonathan Gold and Westword's Jason Sheehan (who is now at Seattle Weekly) are both nominated for the Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Reviews, and Gold is also a finalist in the Writing on Spirits, Wine or Beer category. Elsewhere, the Newspaper Feature Writing category is comprised only of AAN members, with two Chicago Reader pieces and one from the Village Voice vying for the top prize. Westword nabs another finalist in the Newspaper Feature Writing About Restaurants and/or Chefs, where it is joined as a finalist by Washington City Paper. And last, but certainly not least, the Houston Press is a finalist in the Multimedia Food Feature category. Winners will be announced on May 2.
Conor Friedersdorf, in his annual roundup of the year's best journalism, spotlights two very different pieces from alt-weeklies as exemplary work. First, Mark Groubert's "Box of Broken Dreams," which appeared in LA Weekly in January, gets a nod for "Exceptional Storytelling," along with pieces from This American Life, the Washington Post and Esquire. Meanwhile, Matt Taibbi's New York Press takedown of Thomas Friedman -- "Flat N All That" -- gets the nod for "Best Rant," with Friedersdorf writing that it puts Friedman "so far up a creek he'll need three shovels and a steering wheel to spelunk himself out."
The cartoonist's contract expired on Friday; he spent nearly six years as the Weekly's regular cartoonist. Booth tells Neon Tommy he had known for a few months about the contract, so he hired an agent and has been working on new ventures in recent months, including two book proposals, which are currently being pitched to publishing houses in New York City. But the Weekly's editor says that the paper likely hasn't seen the last of Mr. Fish. "We still plan to use him from time to time and may renegotiate contract for regular use," Drex Heikes says. "I have an email from him and plan to talk to him soon." MORE: Mr. Fish sounds off on the state of the Weekly on his blog.
Gold, who has won a Pulitzer Prize for his work at the Weekly, had always been a freelancer for the paper -- until now. He's now on staff, where he'll continue writing his columns and also beging contributing to Squid Ink, the Weekly's food blog.
Longworth, who is the co-founder of Cinematical.com and former editor SpoutBlog, will replace Scott Foundas, who last month announced he was leaving the Weekly to become the associate program director of The Film Society of Lincoln Center. Longworth will begin her tenure at the Weekly on Jan. 18. In other Weekly news, the paper has hired a new staff reporter: Gene Maddaus, formerly of the Daily Breeze.