In the old days, when the media reported on problems in the newspaper industry, alternative newspapers weren't included. But alt-weeklies are immune no longer: In 2008, many AAN papers faced some of the same issues afflicting their mainstream brethren in the print media. However, you can still find alt-weeklies that had a pretty good year in 2008. That's just what AAN's editor Jon Whiten did, and he reports on 10 papers that increased revenue in a story published by Editor & Publisher.

Continue ReadingTen AAN Members That Bucked the Trends and Grew in ’08

Rebecca Wakefield, who worked at the paper earlier in the decade, has signed on as manager for Maria "Beba" Sardina Mann's campaign for Miami city commissioner. "The journalism world is dying a horrible, hacking death," Wakefield says. "No one's paying me any more to snarkily opine on the local circus, so when Beba asked me to consider running her campaign, I thought I might as well grab a cigar and find out what's really going on in the smoke-filled rooms."

Continue ReadingFormer Miami New Times Reporter Enters Political World

Turner Publishing has just released Leonard Jacobs' first book, Historic Photos of Broadway: New York Theater 1850-1970. For the hardcover book, Jacobs chose 240 photographs, organized them into coherent sections, and wrote accompanying text. Calling the book "at once concise and comprehensive," Curtain Up's reviewer writes that "historic photos of Broadway's showplaces and show people need a historian to guide us through these pages with facts and anecdotes, and Leonard Jacobs is just the man to make these pictures come to life."

Continue ReadingNew York Press Theater Critic Releases Book of Historic Photos

"Get Out, the East Valley Tribune's Thursday entertainment tabloid will publish for the last time on Christmas Day," writes the Phoenix New Times' Martin Cizmar. He calls Get Out a "vanquished -- but respected -- foe of 11 years."

Continue ReadingPhoenix Faux-Alt Folds

The North Central Florida SPJ chapter has announced the winners of its 2008 Florida Awards of Excellence contest, and Village Voice Media's two papers in the state won 20 total awards. Miami New Times staff writer Francisco Alvarado was named Journalist of the Year, and in competition among non-daily papers, his paper took home ten awards, including first-place finishes in Education Reporting, Environmental Reporting, General Reporting (single story), General Reporting (series) and Series Column Writing. New Times Broward-Palm Beach won a total of nine awards, including first-place wins for Business Reporting, Feature (non-deadline), Humorous Column Writing and Sports Reporting (non-deadline).

Continue ReadingVVM Papers Win Big in State SPJ Awards

"What does this mean for the Advocates? Who the fuck knows? We're so low in the Tribune food chain that we're not even mentioned in the annual reports," writes Christopher Arnott, who spent 17 years as an Advocate staffer before going full-time freelance. "The Advocate's sucked it up before and [stayed] alive in hard times. Let's hope the corporation gives it the chance to do it again."

Continue ReadingAdvocate Freelancer Weighs in on Tribune Bankruptcy Filing

The embattled Tribune Company, which owns three AAN papers, has hired an investment bank and law firm in recent days to advise the company on a possible trip through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to the Wall Street Journal. Tribune owns the Fairfield County Weekly, Hartford Advocate and New Haven Advocate. Sources tell the Journal that a filing could come as early as this week. UPDATE (4:05 pm): The company did indeed file for bankruptcy protection today, and will stop making interest payments on $12 billion in debt as it attempts to restructure its loans, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Continue ReadingTribune Co. Reportedly Considering Bankruptcy Filing

In the nineteenth -- and final -- installment of this year's "How I Got That Story" series, Gus Garcia-Roberts talks to Phillip Bailey about his award-winning short news stories for Cleveland's Scene. Garcia-Roberts, an Academy for Alternative Journalism alum who was transferred to Miami New Times after the Scene's merger with Cleveland Free Times in June, covers meth addicts, rural farmers, nightclub owners, and cultural phenomena with equal aplomb in his entries. He tells Bailey how each story came about, reveals his reporting process, and offers advice to other young alt-weekly journalists. "Think small," Garcia-Roberts says. "Find weird people in your area that have no idea why you're writing about them, and do their strangeness justice."

Continue ReadingHow I Got That Story: Gus Garcia-Roberts

Tim Nelson, the Democrat challenging Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, is running a radio ad accusing Thomas of ordering the October 2007 arrests of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey because they reported in Phoenix New Times that they had been served a sweeping subpoena from a special prosecutor demanding information about the paper's online readers, Editor & Publisher reports. The ad says Thomas is responsible for "arresting journalists in the dark of night in front of their families because of what they published," and accuses Thomas of using KGB tactics. (New Times reports that Thomas tried to get the commercial pulled from local airwaves.) "Make no mistake about it: the New Times subpoenas and arrests were a massive abuse of power and the public trust," Nelson said at a press conference yesterday. "They have brought ridicule to our county and its justice system."

Continue ReadingLast Year’s Arrest of VVM Execs Becomes Campaign Issue