Gambit Weekly took home two first-place awards in the eighth annual Alternative Newsweekly Awards contest, tying with three papers -- The Chicago Reader, LA Weekly and Cincinnati Citybeat -- for the most top honors won by a single newspaper. In all, Gambit Weekly won four of the awards sponsored by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, which represents 116 papers in the United States and Canada.
For the second year in a row, music editor Scott Jordan received first place in music writing in Gambit Weekly's division, which includes papers with circulations of 50,000 or less. The judges called Jordan's writing "simple, direct, informative and humorous," stating that "Jordan accurately reflects the rich musical heritage of one of the world's great music centers. His finely wrought miniatures always have a point of view, always tell a little story, and always show real thought and engagement." In 2001, Jordan also received a top AAN award for a sports feature about the New Orleans Brass.
Also scoring first place was Sara Roahen, who earned the accolade in the "Food Writing" category. "Whether she's diving into Vietnamese bubble tea, 'fish-forward' flounder or tubs of gumbo, Roahen writes knowledgeably about her subjects in a lively, entertaining style," said judges.
In addition to the two first-place honors, Gambit Weekly received one second-place award and one honorable mention. Production director Dora Sison earned a second-place award for "Cover Design." In their comments, the judges singled out a cover on which Sison evoked the problem of illiteracy by utilizing unreadable headlines and copy. "We wish more American papers would demonstrate this kind of controlled risk more frequently," said judges, who also praised Sison's use of visual images in her covers.
Finally, cartoonist Greg Peters, whose weekly "Suspect Device" comic appears in Gambit Weekly, received an honorable mention in the "Cartoon" category. "Peters' dry, allusive wit is nicely matched with the neat collages of clip art, photographs and engravings he constructs," said judges. "He shows a deep concern for the local politics and character of Louisiana, and his opinions are frequently unexpected. It's also a very funny cartoon."
The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies presented the awards at its annual convention, at an event held June 6 in Pittsburgh. A complete listing of winners is posted at www.aan.org.