As of April 7, the Georgia Straight was number one, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian number four, on the list, which is put together by the researchers and students at The Committee for Newspaper and Media Integrity. Oxford University law student Aron Ping D'Souza, one of the project leaders, says they initially combed the web looking for "key terminologies" about newspaper names, articles and links. "We surveyed millions of pieces of data and found where people were using language that would indicate reputability based on a theory called natural-language queries, and we developed preliminary data from that," he says. "Now that people can give rankings in supplement to that chatter-theory-based argument, we can verify the method in some ways, and also we can improve the method."

Continue ReadingTwo Alt-Weeklies Land on ‘Most Reputable Papers in the World’ List

As the 2010 Winter Olympics enter their final week, Vancouver's alt-weekly continues to work round-the-clock to cover both the games themselves, as well as all the cultural and entertainment happenings coinciding with the international competition. Straight editor Charlie Smith tells AAN News that they opted not to produce any special print editions, and have had to actually tweak their print distribution strategies in light of the influx of people and numerous street closings. Online, though, he says the Straight has been going all out, with nearly all of the editorial staff covering some aspect of the games, including stories that have been picked up in Europe. The paper's running all Olympic coverage through a main Olympic portal, and it is also running a dedicated Olympics blog and featuring numerous Olympic photo galleries. Smith says the comprehensive coverage has translated to a "huge spike" in web traffic. "In the first week, traffic was up more than 100 percent," he says.

Continue ReadingGeorgia Straight Puts All Hands on Deck for Olympics

That's the question Ryerson Journalism Review's Daniel Kaszor set out to investigate in that magazine's Spring issue. He sits down with independent owners Ron Garth of Vue Weekly, Michael Hollett of NOW Magazine and Dan McLeod of the Georgia Straight, as well as an editor with Eye Weekly, a corporate-owned weekly that competes with NOW in Toronto. His conclusion? "Readers may find it difficult to spot major differences between the two breeds of paper ... [b]ut there are distinctions," Kaszor writes. "Corporate papers are usually more personality-driven and apolitical. And the indies are not so much labors of love as pure acts of will held together by shrewd owners with deep personal and financial interests in their papers."

Continue ReadingWhat’s the Difference Between Canada’s Indie and Corporate Alts?

A story in the Vancouver alt-weekly that exposed pharmaceutical companies' marketing tactics to persuade physicians to prescribe drugs has been named the top magazine article of the year by the Canadian Association of Journalists. Alex Roslin's story, "Pill Pushers," is also a finalist in the National Magazine Awards, along with several other pieces from the Straight. The alt-weekly has also been nominated for five Western Magazine Awards.

Continue ReadingGeorgia Straight Honored with National Journalism Award

Travis Lupick was one of five recipients of the Seeing the World through New Eyes fellowship, which was established by the Jack Webster Foundation and the Canadian International Development Agency. He will visit Latin American in early 2009 to experience firsthand reporting from developing countries. The fellowship was open to British Columbia-based journalists 30 years old or younger or in their first five years of journalism, and winners were selected by a jury of professional journalists.

Continue ReadingGeorgia Straight Writer Wins Fellowship

Peter Ladner defeated Sam Sullivan on Sunday for the mayoral nomination of the Non-Partisan Association (NPA), a civic-level political party in Vancouver. "He dresses well, runs a weekly business publication and is pleased to describe himself as a 'fiscally conservative' member of the generally right-wing NPA," reports the Globe and Mail. But the Canadian daily also notes that Ladner is an "ex-hippie" who was a back-to-the-land farmer raising goats and chickens in the 1960s. He later worked for "the respected alternative weekly, Monday Magazine," and had plans in the 1980s to launch a new weekly to compete with AAN member The Georgia Straight. Those plans fizzled out, and Ladner instead launched Business in Vancouver, a weekly business publication. The general election is scheduled for November.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Alum Running for Mayor in Vancouver

New Westminster, which sits about 12 miles from Vancouver in British Columbia, has approved the ban as part of a series of measures to address "livability and enforcement issues" in the city, the Georgia Straight reports. The ordinance, set to take effect Jan. 1, would affect more than 20 of the Straight's boxes. It's "very likely" that the city has violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, says Vancouver media lawyer David F. Sutherland: "There is a constitutional right, not only in the newspaper to distribute by traditional means in public space, but also on the part of readers to receive it in that way." Still, the news box ban isn't quite as draconian as an earlier restriction New Westminster had on the alt-weekly: In 1968, the city banned the Straight across the entire municipality.

Continue ReadingCanadian City Bans News Boxes in Downtown Core