One of the youngest winners of a 2005 AltWeekly Award is Nick Goodenough, whose column for Ventura County Reporter, "Nick at Night," took first place for photography in the small-paper division. In an interview with AAN intern Lindsay Kishter, Goodenough explains how he managed to take photos on packed dance floors without blurring his subjects or losing his grip on his camera. This is the first in a series titled "How I Got That Story" that will highlight the AltWeekly Awards' first-place winners.
Rather than just deliver the same old reliable features and columns every week, editors of AAN papers look for ways to tweak their content, thus attracting new readers and re-engaging the faithful. But there's no sense rounding up a focus group to predict what new ingredients will work when freelancers, staff and the guy on the next barstool are all eager to give their advice. John Dicker interviews editors of four weeklies who messed with the mix to get happy results.
Marc Brancaccio leaves New Times Los Angeles to become publisher of Pasadena Weekly, replacing Charles Gerencser, who has moved to San Diego to start up San Diego CityBeat. At Ventura County Reporter, Sharon McKenna, also an alt-weekly veteran, becomes editor, replacing David Rolland, who is editor at CityBeat.
David Comden, group publisher of the renamed Southland Publishing Inc. (formerly Ventura Newspaper, Inc.), says San Diego is a “big-boy market.” The purchase of SLAMM, a San Diego music biweekly, gives Southland a chance to play in the big boys’ lot. Comden says it’s likely SLAMM will be transformed into a AAN-style alternative newsweekly.
Alternative newsweeklies across the country have bucked the trend of unquestioned support for the president and the new war in Afghanistan. They’ve also paid the price for their criticism, with retribution ranging from yanked ads to death threats.