AAN members are once again well-represented in the list of nominees for this year's James Beard Foundation Awards for Journalism. The finalists: L.A. Weekly's Pulitzer-prize winning critic Jonathan Gold in the Restaurant Reviews; Kristen Hinman of Riverfront Times in Newspaper Feature Writing Without Recipes; and the Chicago Reader's Mike Sula in Multimedia Food Journalism. Winners will be announced at a May 4 gala in New York.

Continue ReadingThree Alt-Weekly Writers Nominated for James Beard Awards

Chase, whose real name is Jason Garrison, worked in advertising sales at St. Louis' Riverfront Times before leaving in January 2007 to try his luck as a grappler with Ohio Valley Wrestling. Two months ago, he made a giant leap toward becoming a big-name wrestler when the WWE recruited him to attend the company's developmental school in Tampa, Riverfront Times reports.

Continue Reading‘Fletcher Chase’ Goes from Alt-Weekly Ad Sales to Pro Wrestling

Miami New Times' Lee Klein won a first-place award for Newspaper Restaurant Criticism in this year's Association of Food Journalists awards. Robb Walsh of the Houston Press and Randall Roberts of Riverfront Times took second and third place, respectively, in the Newspaper Food Feature category; and Seattle Weekly's Maggie Dutton finished second in the Newspaper Food Column category. Winners were announced last weekend at a banquet in Houston.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weeklies Win Four Food Journalism Awards

In the third installment of this year's "How I Got That Story" series, Malcolm Gay, a regular freelancer for Riverfront Times, talks to Corina Knoll about his feature profile of author Qiu Xiaolong. Gay, who was formerly a Village Voice Media fellow at the East Bay Express and staff writer at the RFT, says he learned how challenging it is to write about a writer. "What they do physically and in terms of their day-to-day existence is very uneventful. So it's hard to bring drama and animation to those scenes," he says. "That's the challenge: to access that inner world and make it evident in the story."

Continue ReadingHow I Got That Story: Malcolm Gay

OC Weekly staff writer and ¡Ask a Mexican! columnist Gustavo Arellano's second book is due to be released on Sept. 16. Orange County: A Personal History is a memoir that examines the history of Orange County as seen through four generations of his family moving back and forth between Mexico and Anaheim. Ed Zotti, longtime editor of the syndicated Straight Dope column, also has a new memoir, which was released this week. His The Barn House: Confessions of an Urban Rehabber is a "memoir about fixing up an old house in the city and pursuing the urban version of the American Dream." Check out an excerpt on the Chicago Reader's site. Another memoir on the horizon is Prince Joe Henry's Princoirs. Henry is the longtime author of the "Ask a Negro Leaguer" column in the Riverfront Times, and the book is an extension of the column. If you're not into memoirs, some of Seattle Weekly cartoonist Scott Meyer's "Basic Instructions" comic strips have been collected in the new Help Is on the Way: A Collection of Basic Instructions, which was released this week.

Continue ReadingFour New Alt-Weekly-Related Books Hit the Shelves

Two AAN members placed in the overall General Excellence categories: Louisiana's Independent Weekly finished second in the Class I division and OC Weekly finished third in the Class III division. In addition, both Riverfront Times (Special Sections and Arts and Entertainment) and Westword (Consumer Affairs and Food and Nutrition) were finalists in two story-topic categories. More than 1,100 entries were submitted to the annual contest administered by the Missouri School of Journalism, which calls it "the oldest and best-known feature writing and editing competition in American newspapering."

Continue ReadingAlt-Weeklies Honored in Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards

Freelance photographer Nichole Torpea says she was snapping photos for Riverfront Times at a My Chemical Romance concert in St. Louis on Saturday when she was assaulted by a member of the band's security team. According to Torpea, she was taking pictures in the balcony when a man grabbed her arm, led her through a door to a stairwell and forced her to the ground. "I had no idea what was going on," she says. "He had no ID and wouldn't tell me who he was. He kept saying, 'You know what you did. Give me the fucking camera.'" He took her camera, but returned it a few minutes later after deleting all the images on the memory card. When the band learned about the incident, they offered to make amends by flying Torpea and her boyfriend to their show tonight at New York's Madison Square Garden. She initially had some misgivings about the offer but ultimately decided to let bygones be bygones. "Last weekend was pretty crappy," she says. "So if they're going to make it up to me with a good weekend, I can't complain."

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Photographer: I Was Assaulted While Shooting Concert