The finalists in the National Association of Black Journalists' 2006 Salute to Excellence Awards were announced Friday, and six of the nine nominations in the "Newspaper - Circulation Under 150,000" division are Village Voice Media newspapers. The other three finalists are not alt-weeklies. Riverfront Times is the leader with three nominations: "Newspaper - Enterprise" for Randall Roberts' "It Was Just Like Beverly Hills"; "Newspaper - Sports" for Mike Seely's "Alley Cat"; and "Newspaper - Features" for Ben Westhoff's "Rap vs. Rapture." Dallas Observer has two contenders in the "Newspaper - Sports" category: Keven McAlester for "Balls Out" and Paul Kix for "Alone No More." Finally, Chuck Strouse of Miami New Times is nominated in the "Newspaper - Commentary" category for "Free this Priest." The awards recognize exemplary coverage of people or issues in the African diaspora. Winners will be announced August 19 at the NABJ convention in Indianapolis.

Continue ReadingVillage Voice Media Papers Dominate NABJ Finalists

Before he was in a position to charge a fortune for protection from gossip, Jared Paul Stern was a writer for New York Press. In this week's issue, Ernie Koy describes his first encounter with Stern, "a pretentious man who was suffering from early male-pattern baldness" and who "sucked up to whoever needed to be sucked up to." Based on these attributes, Koy decided that "he would do well in the New York media."

Continue ReadingAlleged Page Six Extortionist’s Days at NY Press

In a profile in the Jewish Ledger, Paul Bass explains why he left the Advocate Weekly chain after 15 years: "I was fed up with corporate journalism. I really liked the people at the Advocate but the Advocate got bought out by one of the largest corporate chains in America ... Their whole commitment was not just to the bottom line, which was fine, but to an unrealistic profit margin that meant continuous pressure for budget cuts, which in turn meant abandoning any commitment to quality journalism. More importantly, the corporate atmosphere drained the creativity. I went crazy with all the forms of bureaucracy and group think." The Advocate Weekly chain was acquired by the Tribune Co. in 1999. Bass now runs the Web site, while his wife, Carole, continues to serve as associate editor of the New Haven Advocate.

Continue ReadingFormer New Haven Advocate Writer on the Tribune Co.

In Philadelphia City Paper's March 24 edition, publisher Paul Curci accuses television networks of sacrificing ethics for the sake of the bottom line and decries broadcast media outlets' practice of airing prepackaged video news releases. Daily Kos, a popular politics and culture blog, featured the opinion piece and offered this observation: "Going so far as to demanding his readers question even the very paper that he puts out, Curci examines the fake news segments put out by the government, why they're unacceptable, and why the GAO, ruling that these fake news snippets are legal, [is] unacceptable."

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Wants Fake Reporters ‘Bitch-Slapped’; Kos Agrees

When Philadelphia City Paper publisher Paul Curci conducted a national search for a new editor, he spoke to "no less than three dozen candidates," according to his open letter in the paper's latest issue. With input from his staff, he handpicked Philly native Duane Swierczynski, who worked at Philadelphia magazine and Men's Health before moving on to New York and an associate editor position at Details. Curci says that Swierczynski "made good in Philly, elevated his game in New York and chose to return to the city he loves to do what he does best -- lead young writers to excellence."

Continue ReadingPhilly City Paper Publisher to New Editor: “Welcome Home”