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

As we reported last week, the California Supreme Court squelched the Santa Barbara Independent's last legal hope in a long fight over turning over some unpublished crime scene photographs. With the court declining to hear an appeal, the paper and staff photographer Paul Wellman faced criminal punishment -- including possible jail time -- if they continued to hold the photos. So the Independent, rather than give the photos to the district attorney, decided to publish all 334 of them on its website this week. "We did make a point of dragging this case out to the bitter end," explains news editor Nick Welsh. "This was in part inspired by the assault on the media that's been taking place for the past eight years, and the utter contempt for the public's right to know -- anything -- displayed by the Bush Administration."

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Explains Why it Held Photos … Then Publishes Them All

The California State Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a petition from the Santa Barbara Independent and staff photographer Paul Wellman asking the court to review a Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge's decision to hold the paper and Wellman in contempt of court for not handing over photos from a murder last year, the Independent reports. This exhausts the legal options the paper had to fight the initial ruling. "I'm not surprised," Independent attorney Mike Cooney says. "Even though I'm devoted to the concept the subpoena was overbroad, it's difficult for appellate courts to review during criminal proceedings." Wellman faces potential imprisonment and the paper faces fines if they continue to refuse the subpoena, but both parties haven't yet decided what to do.

Continue ReadingState Supreme Court Declines to Hear Alt-Weekly’s Contempt Case

Attorneys for the alt-weekly have filed legal papers with the California Court of Appeal arguing that a judge erred in finding the Indy in contempt of court for refusing to turn over all the crime scene photographs taken by Paul Wellman. The paper's attorneys argue the judge failed to provide any evidence there was "a reasonable possibility" that Wellman's unpublished photos "will materially assist" the defense attorney who asked for them. The legal standard required by California Constitution to penetrate California's shield law requires a reasonable possibility, the Indy reports.

Continue ReadingSanta Barbara Independent Fights Contempt Charge

The Santa Barbara Independent and photographer Paul Wellman were found in contempt of court Thursday for refusing to turn over unpublished photos which had been subpoenaed in the murder trial of a 14-year-old. Though California has a Shield Law to protect reporters and photographers in the media, it doesn't extend to every situation, Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Brian Hill said as he ruled against the Indy. The paper has been fined $1,000 and Wellman has not been sent to jail, pending a ruling by the California appellate court in Ventura. If The Indy loses there, the paper says it will take the case to the state Supreme Court.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly & Staff Photographer Found in Contempt of Court

Phoenix New Times and Tucson Weekly took home a total of 13 first-place awards, with New Times winning in eight categories and the Weekly placing first in five. New Times staff writers Sarah Fenske and Paul Rubin both triumphed in two categories, and the Weekly's Margaret Regan managed the same feat. Both AAN papers also received a number of second- and third-place prizes. Winners of the awards, which honor the best in Arizona print journalism, were announced last week at a Phoenix banquet.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weeklies Clean Up at Arizona Press Club Awards

Joe Keohane will be stepping down as editor next month and will be replaced by current music/food/commerce editor Michael Brodeur, the Dig announced today. "Running this zoo has been enormously fun," says Keohane, "but I've always said that turnover is key to keeping an alt-weekly fresh, and Brodeur's the guy for the job." The Dig also announced that staff writer Paul McMorrow will be promoted to news and features editor; Jim Stanton has been hired "to rehabilitate the paper's disastrously bad website;" and writer Cintra Wilson will soon begin contributing a semimonthly celebrity column.

Continue ReadingBoston’s Weekly Dig Announces Big, Big, Big Editorial Changes

The 160-page anniversary issue, published today, is "an idiosyncratic mashup of 25 years of city journalism," writes editor Duane Swierczynski. "We've selected 25 'memorable' stories, from investigative epics to little goofy items that made us smile." Co-founder Bruce Schimmel provides details of the paper's "ugly, lovely birth" as an offshoot of a local community radio station, and Publisher Paul Curci looks toward the alt-weekly's future: "As a reader, expect to have more access, to our writers and to the stories themselves. Expect more new voices and new features. As an advertiser, expect more innovative ways to reach new customers. Above all, expect the unexpected."

Continue ReadingPhiladelphia City Paper Celebrates 25 Years