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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Steve Schewel announces sale of Independent Weekly

Posted By on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 12:36 PM

The official press release is here: ******************For Immediate ReleaseAug. 22, 2012 Contact: Steve Schewel919-451-9215 Steve Schewel, president of Carolina Independent Publications (CIP), announced today that the company is selling the Independent Weekly and its associated website, indyweek.com, to Richard Meeker and Mark Zusman. Meeker and Zusman are the owners of City of Roses Newspaper Company which publishes Willamette Week, the alternative newsweekly in Portland, Oregon. They also own the Santa Fe Reporter, an alternative newsweekly in New Mexico. The Independent published its first issue on April 15, 1983, and recently marked its 29th year of publication. While Richard Meeker and...

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Monday, January 30, 2012

The guise of objectivity

Posted By on Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Objectivity (noun): “expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations.” Math problems are objective. The Yellow Pages are objective. Journalism is not objective. At the Indy we sometimes hear from readers that a story is not objective. You’re right, it probably isn’t, because the Indy, in its 29 years of publishing, never has been and never has claimed to be. Now we strive to be fair, to listen and analyze the viewpoints of all sides (not “both sides,” which implies there are only two viewpoints) of an issue. We use documents...

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Now about those sex ads ...

Posted By on Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 5:10 PM

I received a voicemail this morning from a concerned reader regarding an ad in the back of the paper. The ad says that on average, escorts have sex with seven men in a day, while women in general have sex with seven men in a lifetime. (It being an ad and not a news story, there was no attribution for these figures.) The ad was offering hookups with "real, clean women." As opposed to unreal, clean women? First, this ad is for a company that matches married people looking for sex with someone besides their spouse. The company slogan: "Life...

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Ethics 102: The deception

Posted By on Fri, Dec 9, 2011 at 11:55 AM

When people hear about an egregious ethical breach at a newspaper, magazine or other media outlet, they usually wonder, "How did that get past an editor?" Granted, sometimes the editor is asleep at the wheel. But occasionally, despite the editor's best efforts, a false, fictionalized or otherwise erroneous story is published because the reporter is very devious, even pathologically so. Seven or eight years ago, when I was editor of the San Antonio Current, a freelancer pitched a story about graduation rates at a local public high school (another bedeviling education story, dammit). Supposedly the high school was overstating its...

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ethics 101: Or why plagiarists should learn to say "Would you like fries with that?"

Posted By on Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Other than "The building's on fire," there are few statements that command my attention more than "I have an ethical question for you." At this point, I step away from my computer, exhale and yearn for the days of yore when editors were expected to keep full flasks in their desk. (Should those days return, fill mine with Macallan.) Pull up a chair, whippersnappers, and I'll tell you an ethical horror story, or in airplane parlance, what is also known as a near-miss: When I was the editor of the San Antonio Current, two freelance writers pitched an investigative story...

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Comments: enlightened dialogue or a cesspool of vitriol?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Fair warning: Between my gloomy morning ritual of reading the newspapers and blogs, and the Senate's repeal of the Racial Justice Act, I'm feeling forlorn and grouchy today. Plus, explaining the Indy's comments policy can get my dander up. But at the risk of sounding shrill and schoolmarmish, here goes: Comments can be enlightening, smart and insightful. They can also be ignorant, punitive and hateful. In other words, they're a bitch to moderate. People will say things on a website that they would never say to someone's face. I think that's cowardly, but it's a fact. We've mulled over whether...

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How do I get the Indy to cover a story?

Posted By on Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 7:48 AM

Let's be candid: News journalists are crusty, cynical curmudgeons whose bedtime reading consists of grand jury indictments and toxic release inventory reports. We traffic in bad news; our currency is injustice. Conflict gets us out of bed in the morning. So do malice and malfeasance, lying and greed. This is why we're a hit at dinner parties. Music, film and culture writers have slightly sunnier dispositions, but only because they get a lot of free stuff in the mail. So, confronted with these daunting and admittedly dark scenarios, how do you—event organizer, concerned citizen, struggling restaurant owner, metal band from...

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

How to freelance for the Indy

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Three freelance writers stand before me, but I have only two résumés in my hand. The name I do not choose must pack his bags and return to writing in his personal journal. "How do I write for the Indy?" It's the second-most common question I field. (The first being "How do I get my event in the calendar?") First, your academic degree is meaningless to me, regardless of the number of letters after your name: B.A., B.S., M.A., M.S., Ph. D, J.D., Y.A.W.N. That's not to say it's worthless, but your diploma alone doesn't indicate whether you can write....

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Friday, November 4, 2011

The inaugural edition of the Indy editor's blog

Posted By on Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 11:09 AM

It's 6:30 a.m. and I feel like it's the first day of school. Lunch packed. Teeth brushed. Hair more or less combed, like that would do any good. And here's the inaugural edition of For What It's Worth, the Indy editor's blog. By nature, I'm a news reporter, not a columnist, which is why I've been tarrying about starting a blog. But I'm into it now and I imagine it to accurately reflect my personality: informal, conversational, irreverent and occasionally vulgar. You've been warned. In FWIW, my goal is to demystify the Indy by explaining how the editorial department chooses...

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