The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies held its 30th annual convention last weekend'this year, the traveling circus of alt-weekly partiers, er, conventioneers met in Portland. City Weekly sent a contingent of employees (Frost Bytes included) to learn the latest techniques in alt-weekly-ing and, as always, wonder why Salt Lake City can’t be more like Portland. Here: The streets are five miles wide and it takes two hours to travel six blocks. There: The blocks are the size of wheat-grain crackers. Here: “Irish” bars hang a Budweiser shamrock and call it good. There: Bouncers demand proof of Celtic lineage before admittance. Here: Smoking is still allowed in most places. There: Smoking is still encouraged in most places. Here: We only have one weekly paper that doesn’t suck. There: They have two excellent weeklies, Willamette Week and The Mercury, neither of which ever feature a “sexy” anything and still manage to somehow survive. Yeah, crazy.nn
â€¢ So what did we learn at the convention? Besides the fact that art director Susan Kruithof can find something to complain about anywhere, even in a great town like Portland? Online media consultant Hal Smith made a stunningly logical point in a Friday presentation: People still use newspapers, so don’t be in such a damned rush to move all of your readers, content and advertising to the Internet (so City Weekly’s ahead of the curve?). Using Websites to direct readers back to the print product makes as much sense as vice-versa, maybe even more so. Really, how many times have you been annoyed by obnoxious print bugs that say “Want more info? Go to our Website now!” Why not tell me now while we’re both right here? Sheesh.nn
â€¢ Oh, and we’ll list all the winners â€¦ online. City Weekly didn’t fare well in the Alt-Weekly Awards (a pair of honorable mentions), but we cleaned up back here in Salt Lake City at the Society of Professional Journalists Utah Headliners Awards last Friday night: Ted McDonough took Best Newspaper Reporter and Government Reporting; former CWers Ben Fulton and Shane Johnson won first place in Personality Profile and Criminal Justice Reporting, respectively; freelancer Katherine Biele took No. 1 in Consumer Reporting; and Yours Truly took the gold in â€¦ Headline Writing? This is a category? I’ve been working too hard; after this week, I’m not writing anything longer than three words. See where else we placed at CityWeekly.blogspot.com.
â€¢ What about my sports reporting, SPJ? Lest you thought I forgot the Salt City Derby Girls roller-derby report, I arrived back in Utah just in time on June 16 to watch the Bomber Babes (co-led by Mrs. Frost Bytes, Red Suzy) drop the big one on the Sisters of No Mercy at the Utah Olympic Oval; final score 90-53. This Saturday, June 23, the SCDG all-star team (The Salt City Shakers) takes on Boise’s Treasure Valley Rollergirls in the league’s first at-home interstate bout. Tickets and info at SLCDerby.com'support the home team, people.nn