Lily Burk, whose slaying July 24 in downtown Los Angeles has received widespread attention, was the daughter of Greg Burk, a LA Weekly writer and editor for over two decades. "The LA Weekly community that attended (parties hosted by the Burks) has mostly disappeared from the (LA Weekly) building now," writes Pandora Young in Fishbowl LA. "But the community, though scattered, still exists. We keep track, we keep in touch, and we're devastated by the news of Lily's death."

Continue Reading17-Year Old Murder Victim was Part of ‘LA Weekly Community’

The shock rocker has issued a warning on MySpace against journalists who write "cavalier statements," saying there will be repercussions for the "soon-to-be-murdered-in-their-home press" if more inaccuracies are reported. Manson's threats come on the heels of a recent L.A. Weekly interview with founder Travis Keller, who talked about what it was like to meet Manson in 2007. In the piece, Keller paints Manson as a paranoid cocaine addict and a fraud.

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Story Leads Marilyn Manson to Threaten Journos

Drex Heikes, who served the Los Angeles Times for 18 years as the Sunday magazine's editor and foreign affairs editor in the paper's Washington bureau, has been named L.A. Weekly's next editor. He will start in August. The position will allow a homecoming of sorts for Heikes: He left L.A. in 2005 to work at the Las Vegas Sun, which recently won a Public Service Pulitzer for an investigation he assigned and edited. "Village Voice Media publishes vital newspapers because it has upheld the vision of its founding editor, Mike Lacey," Heikes says. "Mike is a reporter at heart. His mission has never wavered. First you report, and you report hard. Then you write -- and you do it as a storyteller."

Continue ReadingLongtime Los Angeles Journo Coming Home to Edit L.A. Weekly

Los Angeles Times media critic James Rainey opined in a column last week that the recent departure of Weekly editor-in-chief Laurie Ochoa was the latest sign that the alt-weekly had "fallen far from the days it was required reading for those in the know about the city." Rainey attributed much of the decline to "bombastic" news editor Jill Stewart, saying "she pushes story lines that make some sense, with arguments that make very little." In response, Stewart says Rainey didn't bother to contact her for his "take-down attempt column," and that he also failed to mention a Weekly story she helmed that heavily critized Rainey. "I am very sad to see Jim launch a wrong-headed attack on me without disclosing that I assigned and edited a story critical of him in 2007," Stewart writes, while noting the Weekly's recent "hammering" of the Times in award competitions. "Our story about Jim was, in fact, far more extensively reported and much better sourced than his about me."

Continue ReadingMedia Critic: L.A. Weekly’s ‘Aggressive Slant Erodes Quality’

The Foundation for Biomedical Research has named Max Taves' "UCLA Profs and Scientists Sued Animal-Rights Radicals" the winner of a 2008 Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Award in the Print (Large Market) division. The award "recognizes outstanding journalism demonstrating the essential role of humane animal research in medical discoveries and scientific breakthroughs," according to the foundation.

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Story Wins National Science Writing Award

The Weekly, competing with other large-circulation newspapers, won a total of 13 awards in the annual competition sponsored by the LA Press Club. Staff writer Christine Pelisek had a big night, winning first-place honors for Feature, Hard News and Investigative/Series (where she also received an Honorable Mention). Pelisek also finished second for Journalist of the Year. The Weekly placed first in three additional categories: Columnist, Entertainment News or Feature and Political Coverage. Syndicated "Advice Goddess" columnist Amy Alkon also took home a first-place win for Headline Writing in the large-circ category. Amongst the smaller papers, three AAN members were recognized for their work. OC Weekly won three first-place awards, for Design, Entertainment News or Feature and Entertainment Reviews/Criticism/Column. Pasadena Weekly won three awards, and the late LA CityBeat won one.

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Wins Big in Southern California Journalism Awards

Appearing on a local radio show this week, Los Angeles Police Department chief Bill Bratton went after a recent Weekly cover story that questioned his department's use of crime statistics -- especially Bratton's assurances that crime levels are on par with L.A.'s in 1956. As the chief and radio host segued out of a discussion on drug laws, Bratton cracked, "I think they were smoking a little weed when they wrote that article." He claimed the article was part of a vendetta the Weekly has against Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and added that he stood by the department's numbers. "It's kind of voodoo reporting," he said of the story.

Continue ReadingPolice Chief Calls L.A. Weekly Story ‘Voodoo Reporting’

Deputy editor Joe Piasecki was chosen last month for the Annenberg Fellowship at the University of Southern California, which requires two semesters of study in USC's graduate-level Specialized Journalism program and includes a $20,000 stipend. In addition, a number of Pasadena Weekly writers, along with scribes from sister papers LA CityBeat and Ventura County Weekly, have been been nominated for the Los Angeles Press Club's 51st Annual Southern California Journalism Awards. L.A. Weekly and OC Weekly also have a large number of nominees in the awards contest.

Continue ReadingPasadena Weekly Editor Gets Annenberg Fellowship

When the Times announced this week that it was moving food critic Frank Bruni to a new assignment writing for the Times Magazine, foodies immediately began speculating as to whom the paper would replace him with. The Associated Press says LA Weekly's Pulitzer-winning critic Jonathan Gold is one of the "obvious contenders," while Eater has him as a "dark horse," with 250-1 odds. Eater also pegs Village Voice critic Robert Sietsema an "underdog," giving him 1000-1 odds. Meanwhile, the Times staffer who will lead the search says she hasn't started thinking about who will be named for what the AP calls "what's widely considered the most important restaurant critic job in the country."

Continue ReadingWill the New York Times’ Next Food Critic Come from an Alt-Weekly?