"Like her fellow alt-weekly brethren, L.A. Weekly scribe Ella Taylor infuses prose with a touch of sass, delivering the well-read skinny on films great and small with dexterity and, oftentimes, the patience of a saint," Rotten Tomatoes writes. In this Q&A, Taylor talks about how she got into film criticism 19 years ago ("I was an uncomfortable academic sociologist who preferred journalistic to academic writing"), what she wanted to be as a kid when she grew up ("A shoe saleswoman") and the best part of being a film critic ("Free movies, and the regular opportunity to carp.")

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Film Critic Talks About Her Career and Work

The paper finished first in four of the six categories for which it was eligible in the LA Press Club's inaugural National Entertainment Journalism Awards. Nikki Finke swept the online categories, winning first for Best News Story, Best Feature Story, and Best Critic. Ella Taylor took first for Best Critic in print, and Finke also finished second for Best News Story in print.

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Dominates Entertainment Journalism Awards

David Brewster, who sold his interest in the Seattle alt-weekly in 1997, has recruited two other former Weekly staffers to work on Crosscut, which will cover Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and parts of British Columbia, according to the Seattle Times. Former Managing Editor Chuck Taylor will be Crosscut's editor, while former Editor-in-Chief Knute "Skip" Berger will write for the site, set to launch March 12. Brewster says he started working on Crosscut about 18 months ago, to counteract "the growing fatalism of Seattle journalism."

Continue ReadingSeattle Weekly’s Founding Editor to Launch Regional News Site

The addition of the widely syndicated sex-advice column to the Eugene Weekly is "stirring up controversy," according to KEZI-TV 9 News. The local ABC affiliate, which led with the story on Friday evening, took to the streets to get reactions; two of the three locals interviewed didn't have a problem with the column, with one woman offering, "I lived in New York City for many years. I'm way beyond ever being offended by anything." KEZI also talked to Eugene Weekly editor Ted Taylor (pictured), who wondered: "What's the big deal? They are just words about sex. Why not be outraged by what I consider the real moral issues?" Director of Advertising and Marketing Bill Shreve tells AAN News the paper picked up Savage Love in October, and e-mails and calls to the Weekly have been split about evenly between supporters and opponents of the column. He also notes that the whole thing has "been good for business."

Continue ReadingSavage Love ‘Raising Eyebrows’ in Eugene

According to The Register-Guard in Eugene, Ore., two brothers have been arrested in a series of 29 burglaries, including 12 at area churches and one at the Eugene Weekly. Editor Ted Taylor tells AAN that the burglars smashed the front door and a cash register during the December break-in, but only made off with change from a charity donation jar. "Jerry, the old homeless guy who camps in our carport every night, wasn't very useful -- he slept through the whole thing," Taylor reports. He also notes that the newspaper has "an ongoing campaign going against our local cops over excessive force and selective enforcement, but they showed up anyway and were very professional."

Continue ReadingSuspects Arrested in Eugene Weekly Burglary

On Feb. 9 at Lemuria Books in Jackson, two of the Free Press' most distinguished journalists, Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd and freelance writer Ayana Taylor (pictured), read their award-winning entries from "Best AltWeekly Writing and Design 2005." More than 25 books were sold, and the evening was an all-around success.

Continue ReadingJackson Free Press Hosts Signing of AAN’s AltWeekly Contest Book

In the same year that Ayana Taylor served as a diversity intern for the Jackson Free Press, she wrote three news stories that won her a first-place AltWeekly Award. She believes it's her persistence that has made interview subjects open up to her, even when they didn't want to talk to the media. This is the 15th in a "How I Got That Story" series highlighting the AltWeekly Awards' first-place winners.

Continue ReadingAyana Taylor: Gaining the Trust of Resistant Sources

In an unsigned article titled "Negress Awarded for Interviewing Nationalist," the Mississippi-based Nationalist Movement takes a swipe at one of the three pieces that netted Ayana Taylor of Jackson Free Press an AltWeekly Award earlier this year. Richard Barrett, editor of the group's Web site and the subject of Taylor's profile, "X Marks the Boycott," calls the story "light on accuracy," claiming he was misquoted and that Taylor "editorialized considerably in the article." Barrett also says he had "trouble understanding (Taylor)," and congratulates himself for "departing from precedent in which pro-majority activists invariably refused to speak to Negroes."

Continue ReadingWhite Supremacist Comments on AltWeekly Award-Winning Article in “Hippy-Newspaper”