Colorado Springs Independent won 21 awards and the Santa Fe Reporter won 12 awards. Westword editor Patricia Calhoun earned the Keeper of the Flame Award.
Writers for Miami New Times, Philadelphia City Paper, and Westword have been named as Sigma Delta Chi Award honorees by the national Society of Professional Journalists.
Saying her presence in Denver is "as durable as the U.S. Mint," Denver Post columnist Bill Husted sits down for a few drinks with Patricia Calhoun for his "Bar & Grilled" column. Their wide-ranging conversation touches on everything from why she drinks beer ("I read an article that said women in business should not drink beer because it wasn't professional. And I am enough of a contrarian that I decided to embrace beer with a vengeance.") to why she's stayed with Westword for 33 years ("I guess I haven't found anything more interesting than what I am doing now.") to how she would describe the alt-weekly ("We're bossy, and we're glossy.").
Westword's Patricia Calhoun took home a first place win and Willamette Week's Beth Slovic received a special citation at the Education Writers Association's 2009 National Awards for Education Reporting. Calhoun took first in the Small Media: Opinion category for "School Daze," while Slovic was recognized in the Small Media: Feature, News Feature or Issue Package category for "Cheerless."
The Denver alt-weekly received a total of more than 200 applications for a gig reviewing the region's medical marijuana dispensaries. Editor Patricia Calhoun says the flood of interested critics, applying from all over the globe, was likely correlated to the worldwide media coverage Westword's unusual opening has received.
Westword's Joel Warner, who won first place for feature story in the above 50,000 circulation category for "The Good Soldier," discussed the story with his editor Patricia Calhoun in a live chat.
In its quest to find a medical marijuana dispensary reviewer, the Denver alt-weekly is asking would-be critics to write a brief essay on "What Marijuana Means to Me." Editor Patricia Calhoun says that the national media attention has brought in quite a few applications -- "some silly, some actually spelled correctly (many potheads don't seem to care for punctuation), some very sincere."
"It's funny how the national media has jumped all over this," Patricia Calhoun writes of the attention being given to the paper's quest to hire a freelance critic to review medical marijuana dispensaries. But while most outlets have taken a "light, fun" tone to the story, she says the issue is serious business in Colorado. "There's one aspect of our search for a reviewer that's not funny: How very, very important easy access to quality medical marijuana is for so many people," Calhoun writes.
Westword staff writer Joel Warner and editor Patricia Calhoun will be live on AAN.org this Friday talking about Warner's story "The Good Soldier," which won first place for feature story in the above 50,000 circulation category. The chat will begin at 3:30 EDT.
"Do you have a medical condition that necessitates marijuana? Do you have a way with words?," the Denver alt-weekly asked in a job posting earlier this week. "If so, Westword wants you to join the ranks as our freelance marijuana-dispensary reviewer." As the paper has reported, the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the area has exploded, so they're launching a weekly column called "Mile Highs and Lows" to review them. Westword editor Patricia Calhoun tells the Wall Street Journal the process of looking for a critic to review drugs isn't any different than looking for, say, a food critic -- they will post the ad and ask for a sample review. "Our restaurant critic, Jason Sheehan, won a James Beard award," she says. "We're hoping we'll have similar success, although there don't seem to be as many rewards for marijuana reviewers."