Cartoonist Steve Greenberg -- who recently took an Honorable Mention prize at the AltWeekly Awards -- writes about the highs and lows of contributing to an alt-weekly after years of working for daily newspapers.
Arizona State's Reynolds Center for Business Journalism has put its spotlight on the Santa Fe Reporter's AltWeekly Award winning project, "Where's the Money," which attempts to uncover the wealthiest individuals in Santa Fe, N.M.
The Los Angeles Press Club has announced the finalists for its 52nd Annual Southern California Journalism Awards, and four AAN members and one alt-weekly affiliated columnist are in the running this year. LA Weekly has 23 finalists in 14 categories, including Journalist of the Year (Patrick Range McDonald and Christine Pelisek), Entertainment Journalist (Scott Foundas), Designer (Darrick Rainey) and Online Journalist (Dennis Romero). OC Weekly has five finalists in five categories, including Journalist of the Year (R. Scott Moxley) and Designer (Kelly Lewis). The Pasadena Weekly has seven finalists in six categories, and the Ventura County Reporter has one finalist. Meanwhile, Advice Goddess Amy Alkon is a finalist for five awards, including Journalist of the Year. Winners will be announced on June 27.
That's Robert Newman's take, as he profiles yet another alt-weekly for the Society of Publication Designers' "Grids" blog. "The Reporter has an editorial budget for an entire issue that is less than what most national magazines pay for a spot illustration," Newman writes, praising cover designer Angela Moore's ability to create "engaging, timely covers, designed to drive circulation and appeal to the Reporter's readership." She says that despite her small budget, artists like to work for the Reporter because she trusts their instincts. "I'm always being told by illustrators how rare it is to work with someone who doesn't over direct, and I think that's why so many work for us even with our small budget," Moore says.
"In spite of the bad news that keeps streaming out of newsrooms, editorial cartoonists are not giving up," USC Annenberg publication Neon Tommy reports. "Most of the small community of 300 editorial cartoonists is adapting, experimenting with new media and sharpening its business sense." Among those who discuss the industry's future with Kevin Douglas Grant are Steve Greenberg, who contributes to the Ventura County Reporter, and Matt Bors, whose "Idiot Box" comic appears in several alt-weeklies. "I have a 'last man standing' strategy," Bors says. "I'm living in a shitty apartment, sleeping on an air mattress. I can't go down any further. Or maybe I could, but I don't plan on it."
The Reporter is among the "fabulous papers" cited in a Morning News piece by Leah Finnegan that looks at "papers that defy boundaries, the internet, and, oft times, common reason." Calling the alt-weekly "tiny but hardy," Finnegan says it "covers two things very well: Wild animals and domestic violence," pointing to a quartet of recent stories on those very subjects. "The paper can also boast one of the country's most non-sequitur parenting columns, titled 'Daddy Needs a Drink,'" she writes. That led The Awl's Choire Sicha to dub "Daddy" writer Rob Wilder "our second-favorite parenting columnist."
Small Society, the company whose work on iPhone applications for the Obama campaign, Whole Foods and Zipcar has earned wide recognition and praise in the growing app development field, is partnering with Pre1 Software and the parent company of Willamette Week and Santa Fe Reporter to develop an iPhone publishing platform which they hope to make available to AAN publishers by late 2009. "We think this may be the killer app for alt weeklies," Willamette Week editor Mark Zusman says.
The alt-weekly is commemorating the occasion with a host of features, including the video of 35 years of covers embedded below, a Q&A with co-founder Richard McCord, a look back at memorable ads through the years and more. Reporter editor Julia Goldberg tells AAN News that the city has also dubbed June 17, 2009, "Santa Fe Reporter Day" in honor of the paper's 35th birthday.
Matt Singer, formerly a staffer at the Ventura County Reporter, moved up the coast to Portland in October with hopes of landing another alt-weekly editorial gig. The Wall Street Journal reports that Singer's quest has been less-than-successful, and uses that anecdote as a springboard into a piece that details how cities like Portland are dealing with a continual influx of hipsters and fewer and fewer jobs. (A story BusinessInsider.com summarized as: "Hipsters In Portland Can't Get Jobs Writing For Alt-Weekly Newspapers.") Willamette Week gets a shout-out in the story as well, for its new "Restaurant Apocalypse" column, which keeps track of the city's myriad restaurant closings.