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Earlier this summer, Reader employees Chris Bowling, Arjav Rawal, Lynn Sanchez and Tylonda Sanders hit the road in a rented Nissan and drove over 400 miles to Chicago to attend the Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s 2022 conference from July 21-22.

The Reader is a member paper of the association, called AAN, a 501c(6) organization, which represents nearly 100 alternative newsmedia organizations throughout North America.

Photo from Chris Bowling’s Native Omaha Days coverage, recognized with an Honorable Mention at the AAN Awards. A woman watches the Native Omaha parade in 2021, reading Omaha’s favorite alternative newspaper. Photo by Chris Bowling.

The conference, hosted by the Chicago Reader, no relation to Omaha’s local paper, offered hours of informative presentations and conviviality with other journalists and media pros at the InterContinental Hotel along Chicago’s Miracle Mile.

Tylonda Sanders, Chris Bowling, Lynn Sanchez and Arjav Rawal of The Reader enjoying the AAN Conference in Chicago.

The finale was an awards ceremony at the Medill School of Journalism, recognizing the best in alternative journalism across the country. Out of six nominations for AAN Awards, The Omaha Reader was recognized for six media pieces published in 2021.

In the “Innovation/Format Buster” category, our May 2021 cover story “Omaha Has Issues” took second place. Reporters Leah Cates, Chris Bowling, Mark McGaugh and Karlha Velásquez shared writing credits.

Former Reader editorial intern Addie Costello also won second place in the “Multimedia” category for her podcast episode “Taking Omaha for A Ride: Is Our Transit System Working for Everyone?

News reporter Chris Bowling received an honorable mention for photography in the same category for his “Photo Collection: Community Fills the Streets for Native Omaha Days 2021.”

Film columnist Ryan Syrek, Report For America Corps Member Bridget Fogarty and and reporter/columnist Leah Cates also garnered honorable mentions in the Arts Criticism, Immigration Coverage and LGBT Coverage categories, respectively.


Subscribe to The Reader Newsletter

Our awesome email newsletter briefing tells you everything you need to know about what’s going on in Omaha. Delivered to your inbox every day at 11:00am.

Become a Supporting Member

Subscribe to thereader.com and become a supporting member to keep locally owned news alive. We need to pay writers, so you can read even more. We won’t waste your time, our news will focus, as it always has, on the stories other media miss and a cultural community — from arts to foods to local independent business — that defines us. Please support your locally-owned news media by becoming a member today.

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