In the non-daily print division, AAN members comprise 16 of the 30 finalists in the Society of Professional Journalists' Green Eyeshade Awards, which "recognizes outstanding journalism in 11 southeastern states." The Memphis Flyer and Miami New Times each has six finalists, New Times Broward-Palm Beach has two, and the Independent Weekly and Mountain XPress each has one.
In a letter from the editor celebrating the milestone, Bruce VanWyngarden traces the history of the Flyer, from its February 1989 debut to this week's issue. VanWyngarden gives props to previous editors Tim Sampson and Dennis Freeland, as well as Flyer publisher and former AAN Board President Kenneth Neill, and the staffers who rarely get such recognition. "The people who do count are those who create your weekly Flyer -- the writers, editors, art directors, ad sales folks, and others who make this publication possible," he writes.
In the Flyer's April 14 issue, Chris Davis tweaked the Main Street Journal, a Memphis-based monthly magazine, for the cover of its April issue. Davis's item reads, in its entirety: "The locally produced Main Street Journal, a magazine devoted to all things conservative, appears to be reaching out to African Americans -- a demo the GOP has traditionally failed to attract. Although the most recent issue has little in the way of Afro-centric content, the cover does feature the image of a black man ... and a truckload of watermelons." The Journal posted a lengthy, literal-minded response on its Web site -- arguing, in part, that its covers were designed to capture "mainstreet America." The Journal also takes a shot at the Flyer, saying that the Memphis community "deserves more than what the Flyer offers: a steady diet of liberal commentary and local insult gossip seasoned with ads for gentlemen’s clubs, phone sex hotlines and casinos."
In the Sept. 8 issue of The New York Times, columnist Nicholas D. Kristof casts doubt upon President Bush's fulfillment of his Air National Guard duties in 1972. He produces a "compelling witness" named Bob Mintz, who served at the same Alabama base where Bush claims to have been. Mintz remembers actively searching for Bush to no avail. Kristof asks Mintz, "Why speak out now?" The honest answer is that Mintz first spoke out on the matter to The Memphis Flyer, an AAN-member paper, many months ago. Jackson Baker quoted Mintz in a groundbreaking story posted to The Flyer's Web site on Feb. 12 and updated four days later. Kenneth Neill, publisher of The Flyer, has written a letter to the editor of The New York Times to point that out.
Reporters with a great scoop no longer have to sit tight trying not to burst while they wait for the next week’s paper to roll out, freelance writer Charlie Deitch reports for AAN News. It’s possible to publish online 24/7. Several AAN papers are moving away from the static Web site that remains the same for seven days and then has its contents refreshed all at once. A few alt-weeklies post new material daily, and others turn first to the Web whenever they’ve got an especially hot story.
Two members of the Air National Guard unit in Alabama that President Bush was supposed to join in 1972 tell Jackson Baker of The Memphis Flyer that they were expecting Bush, they were waiting for him, and they're sure they never saw him. The Memphis Flyer posted on its Web site today its late-breaking, copyrighted story that responds to the question plaguing Americans: Was George W. Bush AWOL at a time he claims to have been serving in the National Guard?