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 Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
New standards curb elective induction
CVS stops tobacco sales
If an Acadia Parish fiddler misses a note while swatting a fly, will a St. Martinville accordionist learn “Ma ‘Tite Fille”?
(It's good, it's bad and it's just crazy)