CVIndependent

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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

It’s a question I often get asked by people who are unfamiliar with the Coachella Valley Independent: “What sets your newspaper apart from the other local publications out there?”

After briefly mentioning the history of the alternative press (and explaining how the Independent fits into that history), I answer by suggesting what I call, somewhat jokingly, the “Independent Challenge”: “Take five minutes, and thumb through the Independent. Look at the articles, the design, the breadth of coverage, and the quality of the reporting and writing. Then, do the same with any other local publication. You’ll understand the difference right away.”

Yes, I am proud of what we accomplish every day at CVIndependent.com—and I am also proud to announce that for the second time, the Independent is receiving a national journalism award.

The Independent has been named a finalist in the 2017 Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) Awards, this time in the Column category. Anita Rufus’ “Know Your Neighbors” is one of three finalists in the category for publications with a circulation of 45,000 or less. Judges were impressed by her columns on a post-election meeting of the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union; the battle against cancer being waged by the wife of a radio-station colleague; and the work by Palm Springs residents to clean up dangerous explosives and other remnants of war in Vietnam via Project RENEW.

A total of 67 publications across the United States and Canada entered the competition, and we’ll find out where we placed on July 29, during the annual AAN Conference in Washington, D.C. You can find a complete list of finalists here.

Two years ago, the Independent’s Brian Blueskye took third place in the Arts Feature category.

While there are a lot of journalism contests out there, the AAN Awards are the only one we enter here at the Independent. It’s a highly competitive contest, and all of the papers we’re competing with have larger staffs and more resources—so winning one of these awards means something.

Congrats, Anita!

Perhaps one of the stories we’ve published over the last month in the Independent will win an award one day. I’m both proud of and alarmed by the article that serves as our July cover story, about the charges being pursued by the federal government against journalist Aaron Cantu. He was covering an Inauguration Day protest that got out of hand—and because he was wearing a shirt that was the same color as the shirts of many of the protesters, he’s being prosecuted. Check it out here.

As always, thank you for reading the Independent. Take the “Independent Challenge” yourself—and email me with questions or feedback at the email address below. Also, watch for our July print edition, being distributed throughout the valley this week.

Published in Editor's Note

While most people in the Coachella Valley have yet to learn about the founding of this fine publication (which, given the sorry state of the newsmedia in the valley, is no surprise), the Independent's launch has been covered substantially in Tucson, Ariz. (the soon-to-be-ex home of the founder, aka yours truly) and in alternative-newsweekly circles.

Here are some links to some of that coverage:

Tucson Weekly, 'Weekly' Editor Jimmy Boegle Leaving Paper at End of Year, Heading to the Coachella Valley: "Boegle, 37, has seen the impact of alt-weeklies, both while growing up and working in his hometown of Reno, Nev., and during his 10-year stint with the Weekly, a publication he argues has played a significant role in Tucson’s arts community since its launch in 1984. He hopes the Coachella Valley Independent will be the publication that helps spark a similar blossoming there."

Tucson Weekly, Danehy: Yet another 'Weekly' editor will be departing soon—but Tom will miss this one: "Jimmy's leaving us to start (along with his partner, Garrett) his own paper in the Coachella Valley part of California. The Coachella Valley, best known for its rowdy springtime music festival, has an official motto of 'At Least We're Not Imperial Valley.' It sounds like more of a challenge than an opportunity to me, but I certainly wish him the best."

TucsonSentinel.com, 'Weekly' editor Boegle leaving to found Palm Springs news site: "The 37-year-old Boegle said he plans to launch a print version of the Independent in the fall. The plan's been in the works for a while, at least in a conceptual way; Boegle first registered the domain name in 2007."

Inside Tucson Business, 'Tucson Weekly' editor Boegle to launch Palm Springs pub: "(Boegle) had his eye on the project for years since putting together a business plan to launch the alternative publication in a market that doesn’t have one."

Association of Alternative Newsmedia/Altweeklies.com, 'Tucson Weekly' Editor Jimmy Boegle Leaving to Launch New Publication: "With the Coachella Valley Independent, Boegle will attempt to bring 'honest-to-goodness ethical' journalism to the areas surrounding Palm Springs."

 

Published in Media