"After a year in which we had the most employees on staff in the paper's history -- 35 -- last week the Indy laid off two people, a reporter and the promotions coordinator, as well as reduced our freelance budget by 10 percent," Lisa Sorg writes in her editor's note this week. Sorg tells local blog Bull City Rising that the laid off employees are Vernal Coleman and Marny Rhodes, and that she and a number of other managers are taking voluntary pay cuts.

Continue ReadingNorth Carolina’s Independent Weekly Announces Cutbacks, Two Layoffs

Independent Weekly staff writer Mosi Secret is leaving the paper to work for the self-described "non-profit newsroom producing journalism in the public interest," the Weekly reports. Secret, a 2004 Academy for Alternative Journalism fellow who recently won his second Casey Medal in as many years, will join former San Francisco Bay Guardian and SF Weekly reporter A.C. Thompson and former Texas Observer editor and Miami New Times scribe Jake Bernstein on the ProPublica staff.

Continue ReadingProPublica Snags Another Alt-Weekly Talent

Mosi Secret received the 2008 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism in the non-daily category for "Stolen Youth," a story of 14-year-old Erick Daniels, who was convicted of robbery in 2001 and sentenced to more than a decade in prison. There was no physical evidence linking Daniels to the crime, and there were key discrepancies in witness testimony and police reports. Daniels is expected to receive a new trial this year, largely due to Secret's investigation. He will be honored at an October ceremony, and will receive a $1,000 prize. Once again, AAN members swept this category: Seattle Weekly's Huan Hsu was the runner-up in the category, and two Westword writers -- Luke Turf and Joel Warner -- received honorable mentions. Secret won the same prize last year.

Continue ReadingIndependent Weekly Staff Writer Wins Second Straight Casey Medal

The North Carolina alt-weekly took home a first place prize in the nondaily category for Mosi Secret's story of one man's struggles to overcome addictions to find meaningful, legal work through a Durham jobs program. The paper will receive a Casey Medal and $1,000 at a ceremony this October. AAN members swept this category, with Seattle Weekly's Nina Shapiro finishing second, and Phoenix New Times' Sarah Fenske receiving an honorable mention.

Continue ReadingThe Independent Weekly Wins Casey Medal