The business partners responsible for Bellingham Weekly, Publisher Douglas Tolchin and Editor Tim Johnson, recently had a dispute that resulted in Johnson's termination and the ownership of the paper being argued in court. Tolchin now has released a Winter 2006 "hibernation issue," comprising: a short fable indicating that the paper's recent troubles may be a blessing in disguise; a help-wanted ad for a new managing editor; a "hamster index" contrasting BW facts with facts about the black bear; a "tribute to local print media"; a reader survey asking advice on future issues; and a letter from the publisher, in which Tolchin recaps his view on the events of the last few months, sets goals to move BW toward a "sustainable and sensible business model," and projects a spring 2006 date for the next issue.
When Lisa Sorg found out a Federal Communications Commission panel had scheduled a hearing in San Antonio, she wanted her community to be well prepared to talk about how media ownership affects what news they hear -- and don't hear. So the editor of the San Antonio Current and her small staff tackled the issue of conglomerates taking over the airwaves, turning out a two-part, multi-story series that won an AltWeekly Award for Media Reporting/Criticism. This is the 12th in a "How I Got That Story" series highlighting the AltWeekly Awards' first-place winners.