The Nashville Scene relates how its former reporter faced a barrage of mistakes on the Feb. 13 episode of Nancy Grace. Stern, who now teaches journalism, was invited on the show to discuss an old murder case that he reported on in 1997. According to Scene Editor Liz Garrigan (and Stern's brother, who wrote about the show on his blog), Grace forgot details of the case, mixed up Southern states and cities, and referred to Stern as one of their reporters, which he hasn't been for several years. ("Not that we wouldn't love to claim him," Garrigan writes.) Garrigan also notes that CNN misspelled Stern's name as "Willie" in the show's transcript.

Continue ReadingWilly Stern Faces Nancy Grace’s Confusion on CNN

Award-winning investigative reporter Willy Stern drops his usual expletive-laced style in favor of a cap and gown in this 8,500-word essay on the role of lawyers in investigative journalism. Stern concludes that corporate ownership of the media has resulted in timid editors, tepid reporting and lawyers who play it safe at all cost. "In the eyes of many investigative reporters, these changes have weakened the historic, watchdog role of the press in American society, and present a new and substantive threat to the press freedoms embedded in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution," Stern writes in an essay originally intended for inclusion in an academic collection.

Continue ReadingThe Heroic Media Attorney: An Endangered Species

The San Francisco Bay Guardian wins two first place awards in the National Newspaper Association's 2002 Better Newspaper Contest: Tali Woodward for Best Health Story, and Dan Zoll for Best Education/Literacy Story. Willy Stern of the Nashville Scene takes a first in Best Investigative or In-Depth Story or Series for his five-part dissection of The Tennessean.

Continue ReadingAAN Papers Take Three Firsts in NNA Contest

The Nashville Scene’s series “Grading the Daily,” by Willy Stern, has won first prize for press criticism (single entry) in the 2002 National Press Club journalism awards competition. The series dissects The Tennessean’s slow decline from a crusading daily newspaper during the Civil Rights era to mediocrity under Gannett's ownership.

Continue ReadingNashville Scene Wins Press Club Award

In its summer issue, Columbia Journalism Review tenders "laurels" to three AAN members – The Village Voice, the Nashville Scene, and Tampa’s Weekly Planet – for “good old-fashioned criticism of the big boys in town.” The journalism-mag crowns the beneficiaries with a left-handed compliment: “Who says the alternative press has sold its birthright for a mess of personal ads and restaurant reviews?”

Continue ReadingCJR Extends Laurels to Three AAN Members