“Nikki Finke Is a Badass” ... and Other Judgmental Comments

It’s the season for journalism awards, and over the past two weeks L.A. Weekly has emerged with a significant number of fresh honors in four different contests.

In the AltWeekly Awards, jointly administered by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, L.A. Weekly came away with more finalists than any other paper in the country (placement of winners will be announced next month at the AAN national convention). Our finalists are David Zahniser, for Long-Form News Story (“The End of Murder”); Scott Foundas for Arts Criticism (various movie reviews); Nikki Finke for Media Reporting/Criticism (her Deadline Hollywood column) and Blog (Deadline Hollywood Daily); Jeffrey Anderson for Investigative Reporting (“The Town the Law Forgot” and follow-up stories) and Short-Form News Story (various pieces); the entire staff for Website and Special Section (“L.A. People 2007”); and, in the Cartoon category, Max Kornell (Los Angelopolis) and Dwayne Booth (Mr. Fish).

In the Best of the West contest, administered by First Amendment Funding Inc., Nikki Finke won first place for Special Topic Column Writing. The line to remember from the judge’s comments — soon to be on a T-shirt near you: “Nikki Finke is a badass. Period.” Tim Foley, also won first place for Illustration (cover art for “The Case of the Dogged Detective”). David Zahniser won second place for Growth and Development Reporting (“What’s Smart About Smart Growth?”); in the Immigration and Minority Affairs Reporting Category, Christine Pelisek won second for “What Really Happened at Fire Station 5?” and Matthew Fleischer won third place for “Watani’s Legacy.”

From the Western Publications Association, L.A. Weekly won three “Maggie” awards, including Best Consumer Tabloid for the entire Sept. 7, 2007 issue with Jodie Foster on the cover. Best News Story/Consumer went to David Zahniser for “The End of Murder” and Best Fiction/Trade & Consumer was won by Etgar Keret for his short story “100 Percent.” In addition, the Weekly had several finalists in the contest: Sandi Tan (“Thwack”), Stephan Clark (“Topsy the Elephant”) and Katherine Karlin (“The Good Word”) for Best Fiction; Christine Buckley for Best Feature Article (“From Hunter to Hunted”); Jeffrey Anderson for Best Series of Articles (“The Town the Law Forgot”) and the 2007 People issue for Special Theme Issue.

Finally, the L.A. Press Club announced its finalists this week: Nikki Finke is up for Entertainment Journalist of the Year, Entertainment Hard News and Online Entertainment News/Feature/Commentary as well as Entertainment Reviews/Criticism/Column. Also up for Entertainment Reviews/Criticism/Column are Scott Foundas for his film criticism and Jonathan Gold for his restaurant reviews. Four writers are nominated in the News Feature category: Christine Buckley (“From Hunter to Hunted”), Matthew Fleischer (“Children of the Revolutionary”), Peter Landesman (“Nine Miles and Spreading”) and Christine Pelisek (“Flying High With the Vicious Ladies”). In the Signed Commentary category are Marc Cooper (Dissonance column, “East Versus West”) and Jervey Tervalon (“The Slow Death of a Chocolate City”); Cooper is also a finalist in the Columnist category. Daniel Hernandez (“The Art Outlaws of East L.A.”) and Judith Lewis (“Chaos Control” and “The Way He Lives Now”) are up for Entertainment Feature. Other nominations: Ross Johnson in the Business category (“Wendy’s Posse”), Jeffrey Anderson for Sports (“The Boras Factor”), Libby Molyneaux for Headlines (“A Scary Home Companion”); Ryan Ward for Design (“Jonathan Gold’s 99 Essential L.A. Restaurants”); Dwayne Booth for Editorial Cartoon. The staff of the Weekly is up for three awards: two in the Special Section category (“L.A. People 2007” and “Best of L.A. 2007”) and one in the Investigative/Series category for gang coverage.


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