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.

Continue ReadingSoCal Journalism Award Finalists Include a Handful of Alt-Weeklies

"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."

Continue ReadingEditorial Cartoonists Discuss Newspaper Cutbacks

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 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.

Continue ReadingRecession’s Latest Victim: Hipsters?

Steve Greenberg, who drew editorial cartoons for the Ventura County Star until a few months ago, will now draw weekly cartoons for the Ventura County Reporter. In December, Brian Duffy made a similar jump in Des Moines, Iowa. "The Reporter is giving me a chance to restart and recharge," Greenberg writes. "Sometimes, when the roller-coaster stops working, you've gotta give the Ferris wheel a spin."

Continue ReadingAnother Axed Editorial Cartoonist Finds a Home at an Alt-Weekly

When the Los Angeles Press Club announced the 50th annual Southern California Journalism Awards on Saturday night, five AAN papers and an Associate Member were honored. LA Weekly took home 16 awards, including first place in Editorial Cartoon, Entertainment Feature, Online Entertainment, News/Feature/Commentary and Signed Commentary. OC Weekly won a total of five awards, including first place for Entertainment Reviews/Criticism/Column, Group Blog, and Sports. Ventura County Reporter received a first-place prize for News Feature, while Los Angeles CityBeat won three awards and Pasadena Weekly won two. Associate Member Amy Alkon, aka the Advice Goddess, won four awards, including first place for Column.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weeklies Well-Represented in LA Press Club Awards

Bill Lascher says in an email that June 25 will be his last day as editor of the Reporter, as he leaves to attend a new master's program in specialized journalism at the University of Southern California. He will be replaced by Michael Sullivan, who was previously a writer at the Fresno Business Journal and a freelancer with the Reporter and the Ventura County Star.

Continue ReadingVentura County Reporter Editor Steps Down

When syndicated Advice Goddess Amy Alkon used "polyamory" in a headline for a column on a cheating boyfriend that appeared in the Ventura County Reporter, Poynter contributor Amy Gahran took issue, pointing out the word's true meaning described consensually open relationships. Gahran's reproof precipitated a war of words between the semanticistas that MediaBistro's FishbowlLA blog is calling the "the on-line equivalent of a cat fight."

Continue ReadingAmy vs. Amy Split Semantic Hairs Over Headline

Instead of counting its gray hairs, the Reporter staff takes a look back at the music, arts and politics that have shaped its community over the past 30 years. "What we're most proud of, believe it or not, is when we've riled up our readership enough (positively or negatively) that we start receiving letters," writes Editor Stephanie Kinnear. "Because this is a dialogue." In one of the anniversary issue's features, staff writer Saundra Sorenson hunts down the oldest existing paper copy of the Reporter -- which, it turns out, is from 1997.

Continue ReadingVentura County Reporter Turns 30