A judge has dismissed former Stanford Group Company vice president Tiffany Angelle's defamation claim against the Lafayette, La., paper. Angelle had sued the Independent over a story that reported she had given a reluctant investor a Rolex watch and a lavish trip to keep his money in Stanford, which was shut down earlier this year by the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly perpetrating an $8 billion investment scam. In making his ruling, the judge noted that Independent editorial director Leslie Turk, who was also named in the suit, "reasonably relied on a confidential informant whom she believed to be telling the truth and confirmed the accuracy of the source's statement by making a second call to [the confidential source]."

Continue ReadingJudge Dismisses Defamation Suit Against The Independent Weekly

Former Stanford Group Company vice president Tiffany Angelle has sued The Independent Weekly of Lafayette, La., as well as the paper's editorial director Leslie Turk, for their coverage of the company's alleged $8 billion investment scam and its effect on the local community. Angelle is suing the paper for defamation for an April story that reported she had given a reluctant investor a Rolex watch and a lavish trip to keep his business, but the Independent is fighting the suit, saying it was filed "to obstruct the paper's coverage" of the scandal. The Independent, citing Louisiana's anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) law, filed a motion to strike the suit earlier this month.

Continue ReadingEx-Financial Firm VP Sues Independent Weekly for Defamation

They need to make a living but can't afford to let the conformity demanded by some day jobs sap their creative spirit. Independent Weekly's Leslie Land, Tucson Weekly's Marc Desilets and others explain the migration of musicians to the classified sales departments of alternative newsweeklies. What's the appeal? Good pay, good vibes -- altogether a decent daylight gig for a breed that Cincinnati CityBeat's Chuck Davis has dubbed "rawker-ad-hawkers."

Continue ReadingReal Musicians Have Day Jobs

"This was the definition of silly," a Republican council member says of the Cincinnati City Council's move to subpoena Leslie Blade to talk about her investigative piece. Having Blade testify brought the council no more information than reading the story, he says. Blade refused to answer a few questions during her half-hour appearance before the council Tuesday but said she wrote the article because "you're talking about public funds—about public trust—and the rules should be followed."

Continue ReadingSubpoenaed CityBeat Reporter Tells Council Why She Wrote about Police Pay Abuse

Some Cincinnati police officers claimed to be in two places at once so they could double-bill the city and the public housing authority, Leslie Blade reported in CityBeat on Dec. 10. Now the Cincinnati City Council wants to ask her questions about the scandal so badly it voted 5-4 last week to subpoena her. CityBeat Editor/Co-Publisher John Fox criticizes the decision to make a journalist an investigative tool of government.

Continue ReadingCincinnati City Council Votes to Subpoena CityBeat Reporter

Publisher Al Johnson, a media sales veteran, launches Omaha Pulp this week, with the help of three former staffers from Omaha Reader -- editors Timothy Schaffert and Leslie Prisbell and Production Manager Justin Wolta. Johnson says he hopes to be profitable by August. John Heaston, publisher of the Omaha Weekly Reader, says he welcomes competition that will keep Omaha's media scene lively.

Continue ReadingNew Weekly Launches in Omaha