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.
Louisiana fell one spot in an annual national ranking of child well-being that looks at poverty, education and health access.
A federal judge has decided he doesn't need to hear more arguments in the case of a gay couple who want a Louisiana marriage license.
Saints again bring playoff aspirations into 2014 campaign.
New details in the case against the man arrested for last week’s bomb threat and bank robbery has surfaced, including a MidSouth Bank surveillance video showing the alleged suspect attempt an early-morning bank robbery.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Michael Sam focuses on making the team; Christians flee Mosul; Kerry at work in Middle East and more national and international news for Wednesdays, July 23, 2014.
Parents and teachers who support the Common Core education standards sued Gov. Bobby Jindal Tuesday over his actions against the multi-state standards, accusing him of illegally meddling in education policy.
An arrest was announced this morning in connection with last week’s bomb scare at UL Lafayette.
Attorneys, judges and others interviewed by LaPolitics expect 15 to 20 district judge races this year.
"I feel like I'm under siege," an attorney said recently over drinks at Galatoire's Bistro in Baton Rouge. "We all do. Every time I turn around somebody wants a check. District attorney races. The judges. They're killing us."
As a requirement for running for Congress in the 6th District, former Gov. Edwin Edwards has filed his financial disclosure statement with the U.S. House showing his income in 2013 totaling $242,787.
Unlike those swindled by Bernie Madoff, the victims of Texas businessman Robert Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme won’t be getting any relief from the Securities Investor Protection Corp.’s emergency fund after a recent appellate court ruling.
The legal challenge is part of a continuing struggle over Common Core, which has become controversial since the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted the standards in 2010.
The lone Democrat to announce he's running for governor, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, criticized Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal's budgeting tactics as "running the state like a big Ponzi scheme."
State police have arrested a 42-year-old Kaplan man in the July 7 hit and run fatality crash that killed a bicyclist on Louisiana Highway 92 near Milton.
Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy has picked up support for his U.S. Senate campaign from a former GOP competitor.
Lisa Hargis Smith lived a mysterious life as seen with her death earlier this month and its impact on the community of those who knew her, whether as a star student in Lafayette High’s class of ‘69, or later as a woman struggling with homelessness and mental illness.
Attorney Valerie Gotch Garrett will announce on Tuesday that she plans to run for the Division E seat of the 15th Judicial District Court.
Back in 2012, three Baton Rouge attorneys came to the aid of several disgruntled police officers with a high-profile lawsuit against the Lafayette Police chief and a number of higher-ups in city-parish government, but in a federal courtroom Thursday, their claims of conspiracy coupled with a lack of evidence backfired and the case was dismissed.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration intends to rework how it pays the private managed care networks that provide health services to two-thirds of Louisiana's Medicaid patients.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is raising health insurance rates and cutting benefits for state employees and retirees, to keep their insurance program solvent.
Local, state and federal law enforcement officials spent much of Thursday reviewing their reaction to this week’s bomb threat, which led to the closure and evacuation of UL Lafayette and Girard Park, and a massive search Wednesday for two alleged explosive devices.
"We're not in a better place from the policy perspective than we were two weeks ago," says Education Superintendent John White, commenting on Thursday's face-to-face meeting with Gov. Bobby Jindal to discuss their dispute over Common Core.
Gov. Bobby Jindal appears to remain unmoved by offers of a compromise on procuring testing materials tied to the Common Core based on a terse statement his office released following a meeting Thursday with Superintendent John White.
Wednesday's Senate vote on contraception legislation is the latest example of Democrats' win-by-losing strategy, which forces Republicans to vote on sensitive matters that might rile women this fall.