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.
Earlier this week, we noted that a piece in the Fort Worth Weekly had won a 2008 Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Award in the local-circulation weeklies category, but we neglected to mention that four other alt-weekly stories were IRE finalists. In the local-circulation weeklies category, Phoenix New Times' John Dickerson had two stories place, while the Houston Press' Chris Vogel had one. In addition, L.A. Weekly's Christine Pelisek was the runner-up for the Tom Renner Award, which is specifically for crime reporting.
The State Bar has dismissed the final two complaints pending against Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, including one about his handling of the 2007 investigation of Phoenix New Times that ended with the arrests of Village Voice Media executive editor Michael Lacey and CEO Jim Larkin. "No one in their right mind has ever looked to the Arizona Bar as a beacon of courage, and it has certainly upheld its longstanding reputation with this dismissal today," Larkin says.
Miami New Times' Francisco Alvarado, the Houston Press' Margaret Downing and The Village Voice's Elizabeth Green were all honored in the 2008 National Awards for Education Reporting. The competition, sponsored by the Education Writers Association, "honors the best education reporting in the print and broadcast media."
At an event in Santa Barbara last week, the host of the Travel Channel program No Reservations touched on his early brush with journalism in New York City. Bourdain said that the first piece he ever sold was to the New York Press, but it was never published. "Week after week after week I kept getting bumped," he said. "And in some moment of drunken hubris I called up [the Press] and was like, 'Fuck you man! I'm pulling the article. I'm going to the New Yorker.'" The New Yorker ran the piece, and as the Santa Barbara Independent puts it, "from there, it was a quick hop to best seller list status and worldwide fame."
Armond White, who recently took over as the new chairman of the NY Film Critics Circle, has tastes and opinions that have proved controversial in critic and fan circles. There's even a blog, "Armond Dangerous," devoted to "parsing the confounding film criticism of Mr. Armond White." But White says he doesn't mind, and that he's not stirring the pot just to stir the pot. "I don't say these things to call attention to myself or to get a rise out of people. I say them because I believe them," he tells New York. "We're living in times when critics get fired if they don't like enough movies. People don't need to hear what mouthpieces for the movie industry tell them. They need to hear the truth."
Last month, Phoenix New Times reported on three flight attendants facing a lawsuit from a US Airways pilot for daring to report their safety concerns to federal regulators. "Now New Times is getting sucked into the litigation," the paper reports. "[The pilot's attorney] filed a subpoena last week demanding that we turn over all our notes, as well as any documents provided to us by the flight attendants." New Times reports that the attorney is also attempting to subpoena information about people who've posted messages on a fund-raising website erected by the flight attendants.
Takes one to know one? Maybe not. Despite New Times' propensity to publish the occasional tall tale, staff writer Niki D'Andrea admits that this time the paper fell victim to another publication's spoof. In a lengthy cover story about the tattoos of Phoenix Suns basketball players, D'Andrea credulously reported that NBA Commissioner David Stern was proposing a "tattoo cap" limiting each team's "roster as a whole to 61 percent tattoo coverage of the 'upper arms and necks.'" D'Andrea says she picked the story up from Foxsports.com, which posted an item originally published on a blog called the Gerbil Sports Network. Bloggers Alana G, who first caught New Times' mistake, and Heat City, weigh in on the incident.
"Twenty years ago, when I ended my anniversary note with 'I look forward to the second 20 years,' I had no idea how fast the second two decades would go," writes publisher and owner Art Zimmer. "I feel the next 20 years will be even bigger and better for The New Times and all of Central New York. Sure, things are down right now, but those of us who have been around 40 years or more (like The New Times) have seen these down cycles several times already."
"An article in the free weekly Phoenix New Times is filled with insults about Steelers' fans. The article calls them "grubby, loud and nasty," reports Pittsburgh TV station KDKA. "The insults are not being taken lightly here." The New Times story in question ran as a preview to last weekend's Super Bowl matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers. "That guy from Arizona better come up here and see what it is," one Pennsylvania resident tells KDKA. "Bring his face up here."