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.
That’s what Lafayette Parish has obtained in Pentagon surplus since 2006.
Qualifying continues through Friday.
The political tilt of the Senate during President Barack Obama's final two years in office is likely to hinge on a handful of female contenders in tight and costly races.
A former BP executive will be allowed to travel to the United Kingdom later this month while he awaits trial on charges relating to an investigation of the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
South Koreans defend ramen; special forces had failed to find James Foley; Vegas lures LGBT tourists and more national and international news for Thursday, August 21, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Friends and family will celebrate Spider's life in September.
Saints safety Jairus Byrd has rarely been so eager to hit and be hit, if only to reassure himself that his surgically repaired back is as healed as doctors believe.
Jindal privatized nearly all the LSU hospitals without waiting for federal officials to sign off on financing arrangements that rely on millions of federal Medicaid dollars.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her main Republican challenger, Congressman Bill Cassidy, verbally sparred as they officially signed up on the opening day of qualifying for Louisiana's November election.
Superintendent tells crowd he'd just emerged from a four-hour meeting with the attorney hired to investigate him.
The start of the three-day qualifying period for November’s elections has so far yielded 10 official bids and one new announcement from candidates seeking a seat on the school board.
It’s been just over four months since attorney Barry Domingue committed suicide the morning before he was to stand trial for a second day in the federal Curious Goods case, leaving his fellow attorney/co-defendant Daniel Stanford with a temporary mistrial and awaiting his day in court.
Candidates for Louisiana's Nov. 4 election must officially sign up for the ballot this week.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's effort to derail Louisiana's use of the Common Core education standards was halted Tuesday by a state judge who said the governor's actions were harmful to parents, teachers and students.
New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram isn't letting a humbling start to his pro career lower his opinion of what he can still accomplish in the NFL.
Visualize Lafayette’s next great thing from 3,000 feet.
A Baton Rouge judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday against enforcing a law that prohibits anyone 70 or older from running for justice of the peace or constable.
Gov. Bobby Jindal believes the last-minute passage of a pension hike for his state police superintendent, Col. Mike Edmonson, was improperly handled, according to the governor's office.
As the courts hash out the attempts to preserve and shelve Common Core in Louisiana, a group of six state lawmakers are planning an Aug. 22 trip to Oklahoma to meet with their counterparts and strategize for the 2015 regular session.
While hopes are high for turnout this fall, a new report from the Center for the Study of the American Electorate suggests that Louisiana's midterm face-offs may amount to nothing special in terms of votes cast.
The attorney hired by the Lafayette Parish School Board for a special investigation of Superintendent Pat Cooper has submitted his final report, though it may be another week before the findings are made public.
The Tea Party of Louisiana is calling Sen. David Vitter a “turncoat” for his newfound embrace of Common Core educational standards.
An annual report evaluating Gov. Bobby Jindal's privatization of Medicaid lacked important financial information and presented rosy performance reviews not corroborated by data, according to a review released Monday.
Lafayette attorney Michelle Meaux-Breaux has announced her plans to seek the Division E seat for judge in the 15th Judicial District.