The Village Voice Media executive editor's Friday night utterance of the "n-word" continues to be discussed in media circles and on the internet. Maricopa County attorney Andrew Thomas, who may be sued by Phoenix New Times soon, criticized Lacey's comments at a press conference on Tuesday, saying "this should be the Don Imus moment for Arizona's media," KTVK-TV reports. KTVK-TV also has the full video of the acceptance speech in which the offending comment was made. And Philadelphia City Paper publisher Paul Curci is weighing in as well, calling Lacey's comments "vicious and hateful" in an incensed letter to AAN News.

Continue ReadingFallout from Michael Lacey’s Comments Continues

Award-winning veteran investigative reporter Ed Connolly has taken over as editor of New Times, the paper announced Monday. Former editor Ryan Miller will remain at the paper as executive editor and will also assume responsibility for the production of New Times' sister paper, the Santa Maria Sun, for which he is also executive editor. Connolly first found his way to New Times after applying for a proofreader opening -- then he wandered into the wrong interview, one for an opening at the Sun. Miller said it quickly became clear Connolly's skills made him a good fit for New Times. "Ed sort of fell into our laps here at New Times," Miller says in a statement. "He was too good of an asset to pass up."

Continue ReadingWrong Interview, Right Fit: San Luis Obispo New Times Hires New Editor

The Village Voice Media executive editor ruffled some feathers when he used the "n-word" to refer to an old friend while accepting the President's Award from the local Society of Professional Journalists chapter, the East Valley Tribune reports. "My words, meant to honor a friend, were inappropriate," Lacey says. "All present have my sincere apology. It is regrettable that any phrase of mine offended those attending a First Amendment awards banquet." In other news, Phoenix New Times will receive a Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism for standing up to last fall's grand jury probe. Lacey and VVM CEO Jim Larkin were both arrested and briefly incarcerated as a result of the probe.

Continue ReadingMichael Lacey Causes Controversy While Accepting SPJ Award

AAN members were well-represented when the winners of the association's 2007 Better Newspaper Contest were announced this weekend. Syracuse New Times took home a total of nine awards, including first-place finishes in Best Advertising Campaign, Best House Ad/Ad Campaign, Graphic Illustration, Sports Feature, and Sports Feature Photo. Metroland won a total of seven awards, and staff writer David King was named 2007 Writer of the Year. Judges called King "a powerful writer, a master storyteller, and a thorough researcher whose convincing style grabs the reader and holds on tight -- navigating difficult subject matter, taking us to places we've never been, enabling us to understand things we never could." The New York Press came away with six awards, including first-place finishes in Best Front Page and Feature Story. The Ithaca Times took home four awards.

Continue ReadingFour Alt-Weeklies Nab New York Press Association Awards

Village Voice Media executive editor Mike Lacey and chairman/CEO Jim Larkin received the honor at the AZ ACLU's annual Bill of Rights dinner this weekend. They were being honored for publishing the county's illegal grand jury subpoenas against the Phoenix New Times and its readers last fall, for which the pair was ultimately arrested. But in presenting the award to the New Times founders, AZ ACLU past president John Hay explained that the well-publicized dust-up was only the tip of the iceberg. "The excuse we're using is what happened this fall when they faced down the Sheriff and the County Attorney. But they have in fact been defending civil liberties now for at least 38 years," Hay said. "So it is my pleasure to present these awards, which I think are slightly wrong. This says Civil Libertarian of the Year. I present these awards to Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin for being Civil Libertarians of the past four decades."

Continue ReadingArizona ACLU Names VVM Execs ‘Civil Libertarians of the Year’

Miami New Times' Isaiah Thompson was awarded a IRE certificate in the local circulation weeklies category for his stories on how residency restrictions forced sex offenders to live under a Miami bridge. In the same category, the AAN-commissioned "Who Killed Brad Will?" was a finalist, along with Peter Byrne's series on Sen. Dianne Feinstein in the North Bay Bohemian and Wayne Barrett's reporting on Rudy Giuliani in the Village Voice. The Texas Observer's reporting on sexual abuse at a state-run youth prison and the cover-up that followed it was also a finalist, in the Magazine/specialty publication category. The Chauncey Bailey Project, which the San Francisco Bay Guardian took part in, was awarded this year's Tom Renner Award, which honors "outstanding reporting covering organized crime or other criminal acts."

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Projects Win IRE Awards

On the heels of the presidential candidate's "testy exchange" with a New York Times reporter last week, Politico talks to some Arizona journalists who describe "a sometimes pugnacious politician whose media strategy is a far cry from joking asides and backslaps around the barbecue pit." Former Arizona Republic national editor Tina May, who now edits the Monterey County Weekly, recalls a Republic story on McCain's temper in 2006 that led to her reporter being kicked "off the bus." She tells Politico it's "a perfect example of how McCain people treated the Republic differently than the national media," which has, in exchange, often flattered the Republican senator. Politico says that Phoenix New Times' Amy Silverman -- "one of McCain's most persistent critics" -- documented the romance between McCain and the national press in 1997's "prescient" story, "The Pampered Politican."

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Editors on John McCain’s Relationship with the Press

The paper was a finalist in the "Distinguished Service to the First Amendment" category for revealing that New Times was the target of a grand jury probe, a dust-up that resulted in the paper's founders being arrested. But despite the national honors and publicity surrounding the case, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio claims to still not know about the paper. "Is that a porno magazine?" Arpaio says in an interview with NPR, "feigning ignorance" upon reference of the publication's name. "You're talking about the weekly paper they have to give away free?" New Times founder Michael Lacey also talks to NPR about Arpaio, explaining the conditions that led to his being arrested. "What made them think they could get away with it is they've been gradually getting away with it for years here," Lacey says. "You begin with prisoners. Then you move on to Mexicans. Then you move on to editors and reporters."

Continue ReadingPhoenix New Times Recognized in Scripps Howard Journalism Awards