Westword's Adam Cayton-Holland finished first in Arts and Entertainment Writing, while fellow Westword scribe Jared Jacang Maher finished third in the same category. Phoenix New Times took a second place win for Environment and Natural Resources Reporting and a third place win for Growth and Development Reporting, while OC Weekly's (not the Orange County Register's, as the award announcement says) "Navel Gazing" blog finished second in the Blog Writing category. The annual contest is open to newspapers and news websites in 13 western states.

Continue ReadingAAN Members Fare Well in ‘Best of the West’ Awards

The Boston Phoenix and its sister publications are the latest alt-weeklies to cut expenses as the media industry struggles through the recession. The parent company laid off six employees, suspended its 401K matches and cut salaries across the board, with the highest-paid employees giving up considerably more than the lowest.

Continue ReadingPhoenix Media Tightens Belt

Earlier this week, we noted that a piece in the Fort Worth Weekly had won a 2008 Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Award in the local-circulation weeklies category, but we neglected to mention that four other alt-weekly stories were IRE finalists. In the local-circulation weeklies category, Phoenix New Times' John Dickerson had two stories place, while the Houston Press' Chris Vogel had one. In addition, L.A. Weekly's Christine Pelisek was the runner-up for the Tom Renner Award, which is specifically for crime reporting.

Continue ReadingThree Alt-Weekly Writers Place in Investigative Reporting Contest

A Marine Corps veteran who has been struggling with mental-health issues has credited a story published in this week's Phoenix in Boston, Portland, and Providence with saving his life. Just hours after the story, "Soldiers Committing Suicide," hit the streets in Maine, the former Marine called the Portland office, thanking the paper for running the story and sharing his own ordeal of being out of meds he takes for his PTSD. Portland Phoenix managing editor Jeff Inglis recommended the vet contact a local counseling service, and the vet called again later saying he'd made the appointment. "You guys saved the life of a veteran," he said on a voicemail message. MORE: Read Inglis' account of the day here.

Continue ReadingVeteran Says Phoenix Story Saved His Life

The State Bar has dismissed the final two complaints pending against Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, including one about his handling of the 2007 investigation of Phoenix New Times that ended with the arrests of Village Voice Media executive editor Michael Lacey and CEO Jim Larkin. "No one in their right mind has ever looked to the Arizona Bar as a beacon of courage, and it has certainly upheld its longstanding reputation with this dismissal today," Larkin says.

Continue ReadingComplaint Against Attorney for New Times Probe is Dismissed

The Globe's thesis is that "falling advertising revenue" is forcing weekly papers to "scale back dramatically." But Phoenix Media/Communications Group president Bradley Mindich says his publications don't fit that mold. "We are not cutting back," he tells reporter Johnny Diaz, who nevertheless intimates that the Boston Phoenix is using less color and sharing film reviews with its newly-acquired Spanish-language weekly to save money. "We actually have more color now" and cutting expenses is not the primary reason his papers are sharing content, Mindich tells AAN News. Weekly Dig publisher Jeff Lawrence says the story was mostly accurate but that it suffered from faulty framing: "Our business model is intentionally evolving -- not reacting to the economy," he tells AAN News.

Continue ReadingPublishers Take Issue With Boston Globe Report

Last month, Phoenix New Times reported on three flight attendants facing a lawsuit from a US Airways pilot for daring to report their safety concerns to federal regulators. "Now New Times is getting sucked into the litigation," the paper reports. "[The pilot's attorney] filed a subpoena last week demanding that we turn over all our notes, as well as any documents provided to us by the flight attendants." New Times reports that the attorney is also attempting to subpoena information about people who've posted messages on a fund-raising website erected by the flight attendants.

Continue ReadingPilot Demands Alt-Weekly’s Notes in Suit Against Whistleblowers

Boston Phoenix staff writer David Bernstein was named Journalist of the Year by the New England Press Association. He also brought home two additional first-place awards for the Phoenix -- in the Investigative Reporting and Serious Columnist categories. "Mr. Bernstein's in-depth articles are compelling and hyper-relevant, challenging myths and assumptions with sharp, clear reporting and a highly readable writing style," the judges write. "Very impressive!" All in all, the Phoenix won another nine awards, including additional first-place wins for Convergence and Reporting on Religious Issues. Worcester Magazine took home six awards, including first-place finishes in the Personality Photo, Social Issues Feature Story and Local Ad: Color categories. Boston's Weekly Dig won four awards, finishing first in Educational Reporting, Infographics and Transportation/Commuter Reporting. The Portland Phoenix also won four awards, and placed first in the General News Story category.

Continue ReadingFour AAN Members Win Scores of Regional Press Awards

Takes one to know one? Maybe not. Despite New Times' propensity to publish the occasional tall tale, staff writer Niki D'Andrea admits that this time the paper fell victim to another publication's spoof. In a lengthy cover story about the tattoos of Phoenix Suns basketball players, D'Andrea credulously reported that NBA Commissioner David Stern was proposing a "tattoo cap" limiting each team's "roster as a whole to 61 percent tattoo coverage of the 'upper arms and necks.'" D'Andrea says she picked the story up from Foxsports.com, which posted an item originally published on a blog called the Gerbil Sports Network. Bloggers Alana G, who first caught New Times' mistake, and Heat City, weigh in on the incident.

Continue ReadingPhoenix New Times Duped by NBA Tattoo Cap Hoax

"I've been privileged to enjoy the alt-weekly journalist's brief of reporting and writing lengthy articles on the various topics, from the serious to the fanciful, appealing to the wide-ranging interests of Rhode Islanders," writes Ian Donnis. He is leaving the alt-weekly to become public radio station WRNI's political reporter.

Continue ReadingNews Editor Reflects on 10 Years at the Providence Phoenix