The Dallas Observer blog "Unfair Park" has hosted a feisty debate between Jim Schutze and Laura Miller over the past few days. Schutze, the weekly's city columnist, wrote a cover story for the Aug. 31 issue criticizing Dallas' plan to build new bridges. Mayor Laura Miller, who wrote the city column for the Observer in her days before holding office, sent a letter to the weekly disputing Schutze's economic analysis, which the paper then posted on its blog. "The Dallas City Council took a mediocre project and made it great -- all in the bright light of day -- and I resent, as a former reporter for this newspaper, Schutze's gross distortion of the facts," Miller wrote. Schutze's response, posted a few hours later, briefly covers Miller's assertions before saying that he hopes to publish a better analysis in the Observer: "Blogs are O.K., but blogs have their limitations too; they are not the place for a comprehensive review of this very complex story," he says. "I look forward to working with the mayor and her staff on a search for these very important answers. Notice that I did not accuse the mayor of 'gross distortion.'"

Continue ReadingDallas Observer City Columnists, Past and Present, Face Off

Newspapers in the Phoenix-based alt-weekly chain picked up seven of the 11 awards handed out last month in the under 150,000 circulation category of the National Association of Black Journalists' annual contest. Dallas Observer's Jim Schutze and Julie Lyons, Cleveland Scene's Thomas Francis and Riverfront Times' Jeannette Batz all were named first-place winners.

Continue ReadingNew Times Dominates NABJ Awards

Dallas Observer won two first place awards in the 2003 Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards, and The Village Voice and Phoenix New Times each took one. East Bay Express won second place in the General Excellence category for papers with circulations 50,001 to 100,000, and New Times papers were finalists in nine other categories.

Continue ReadingAAN Papers Take Four Firsts in Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards