The Reader is a finalist for six awards in the Association of Alternative News (AAN) annual competition. The total is one of the highest in the competition, which received submissions from 35 newspapers, tying with Portland’s Willamette Week and coming behind The Chicago Reader and Seven Days in Burlington, Vermont, which received 7 and 13 nominations, respectively.
Winners will be announced July 22 at the AAN conference in Chicago.
This competition for the best in alt-weeklies started in 1996, honoring the best in journalism and design outside traditional, daily papers. The competition offers the unique opportunity for The Reader and similar papers to compete against our peers across North America. The qualifying stories were written in 2021.
Our Qualifying Stories
- Ryan Syrek, who recently won a regional award for his film criticism, is back again as a finalist in the art criticism category. Our longtime, snarky but lovable purveyor of the best and worst on the silver screen will compete against four other writers from three publications. His qualifying works include Who Gives a Rat’s Asteroid, I Explain and Complain About the Bourdain Refrain and My Year Without Movie Theaters.
- Our Report for America fellow Bridget Fogarty talked to Omahans about why the language barrier matters and how we’re going to fix it. The story was nominated in the Immigration category.
- In 2021, Chris Bowling, Leah Cates, Paul Allen, Karlha Velásquez and Mark McGaugh decided to take our general election coverage in a different direction. Rather than talk to the politicians, which we’d covered exhaustively in the primary, we wanted to talk to Omahans who represented some of the city’s biggest issues. Omaha Has Issues is a finalist in the Innovation/Format Buster category.
- Leah Cates, who won a solutions journalism award for her reporting on gaps in Nebraska’s social studies education, is nominated in the LGBT Coverage category for her story Caught in a Culture War, Nebraska Trans Kids Fight for Acceptance.
- The Reader also has two of the four nominations in the contest’s multimedia category. They include Addie Costello’s Reader Radio podcast Taking Omaha for A Ride: Is Our Transit System Working for Everyone? about how Omaha’s transit system slows people down, and Chris Bowling’s photo gallery for the 2021 Native Omaha Days celebration, which included a parade down N. 30th Street honoring North Omaha pride.