That particular award honors Independent Senior Editor Leslie Turk for her relentless reporting on the UL Lafayette horse farm. The Independent Weekly also won in the same category from the Louisiana Press Association, and it's a tremendous accomplishment: At both the state and national level, competing against weekly and daily papers from across the state and country, contest judges deemed our horse farm coverage as vital work that protected citizens' access to government records.
It sounds like hyperbole, but it's true: This is why we do what we do. No one gets into journalism (and stays in journalism) to get rich or famous. We do this because we hope we can make a difference in our community. And it's awards like this, along with your phone calls, comments, e-mails and letters, that serve to remind us of our mission.
The NNA Freedom of Information honor was just the start of our NNA awards. Here are the rest of our winners, in ascending order:
â?¢ We received Honorable Mention in the Headline Writing category, and staff writer Nathan Stubbs also received Honorable Mention in the Best Sports Feature Story or Series, non-daily division, for his "Fever Pitch" cover story on LSU supporter Dandy Don.
â?¢ "Snake Oil" cartoonist Greg Peters took 2nd place honors in the Best Original Editorial Cartoon, non-daily division.
â?¢ Staff writer Mary Tutwiler earned 1st place for Best Agricultural Story for her June 7, 2006 cover story on ethanol ("Pump it Up"), non-daily division.
â?¢ Turk won 1st Place in the Best Business Story, non-daily division category for "Couret Controversy," part of her coverage of the failed Couret Place traditional neighborhood development in north Lafayette.
â?¢ The entire Independent Weekly staff was honored with the 1st Place prize in the Best Special News, Sports or Feature Section or Edition, non-daily division, for "One Year Later," our Aug. 23, 2006 issue on the one-year-anniversary of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
â?¢ The Independent Weekly's production and advertising departments earned their props, too, winning a total of seven awards. They almost swept the Best Single Ad idea category, earning 1st, 3rd and Honorable Mention in that category. They also earned a 1st Place award in the Best Series Ad category.
It's been quite a year for us, as we also recently won 47 awards from the Louisiana Press Association, including 1st place wins in prestigious categories such as Community Service, Best Investigative Reporting, Best Feature Story, Best News Coverage, Best Lifestyle Coverage, Best Continuing Coverage of a Governmental Issue, Individual Feature Writing, Individual Feature Photo-Black & White and Color, Best Feature Photo and Best News Photo. In our first year of eligibility, we also won two awards from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, including a 1st place win for our hurricane coverage. And apparently our run might not be finished just yet. We've also placed in NNA's General Excellence category, where we face competition from the likes of The San Francisco Bay Guardian; the winner of that category will be announced in an awards ceremony in Virginia on Sept. 28.
And we're still not satisfied. We have a number of new editorial initiatives and additions coming your way. Our Aug. 22 issue will contain the debut issue of Acadiana Business, our new business publication founded on the same commitment to quality that drives The Independent Weekly. In a few weeks, The Independent debuts a new column focusing exclusively on politics in Acadiana and across the state. And beginning next week, I'll be penning a weekly editor's column in this spot.
The whole Independent Weekly staff thanks you for your support, and we look forward to your continued feedback on how we can best serve Acadiana.
The Lafayette superintendent insists the budget is illegal and vows to fight on.
"I am not a scientist," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said numerous times, a response that other members of his party have parroted.
Republicans are running strong races against endangered Democratic incumbents in states such as North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska. Republicans are also looking to replace retiring Democrats in Iowa and West Virginia with a GOP lawmaker.
Republican congressman Vance McAllister is trying to make up to Louisiana voters for getting too close to a married former employee.
You may not like all of “it,” but U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, unlike many of her colleagues, isn't sitting around twiddling her thumbs in Congress.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro says he "can't wait" to play against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The heat keeps rising for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal as a new slate of corruption allegations surfaced this week.
If opposing defenses sell out to stop the Packers' passing game, they risk being gashed by powerful running back Eddie Lacy, a New Orleans-area native.
At the horn the officiating crew trotted to the tunnel and left security personnel to clean up after them.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.