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John

Some Good News at the Voice — Finally

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The Village Voice took home three awards this weekend presented by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN) as part of their annual AltWeekly Awards — this despite more than a year of internal turmoil set off by the merger of its parent company, Village Voice Media, with New Times Media in October 2005. The Voice got the nod for its music coverage (via editor Rob Harvilla), film coverage (via long-time critic J. Hoberman) and investigative reporting (via Kristen Lombardi‘s piece on ground zero’s deadly toxins).

The honors are particularly welcome if not jaw-dropping, considering the significant staff changes the Voice experienced last year, many within the very departments that took home awards from AAN.

The weekend’s biggest winner was the LA Weekly, which received top prizes in the cartoon, column, Web site design and food crit categories, among others.

RELATED:

  • Breaking: Village Voice Names Fifth Editor In 15 Months
  • ‘I’m a Mac, I’m a PC,’ U.K. Style

    Via The Guardian, we learned that John Hodgman‘s Apple ads were remade for a UK audience. The Brit version features comedians David Mitchell and Robert Webb, who star on the sitcom Peep Show. The ads ran into a bit of trouble overseas, with 14 complaints made to the Advertising Standards Authority about Apple making misleading claims in their ads. Apple was cleared of all charges.

    The U.K. ads? Well, they’re just a bit more dry.

    Celeb Mag War: If Shar Jackson’s Pregnant, So Is Christina Aguilera

    aguilera_061307.jpgWith today’s big celeb news cycle story turning out to be Kevin Federline and Shar Jackson having a new kid (reported by Star and, as it turns out, not true), celebrity journalists had that urge to do what they do best: One up each other. Enter OK! Magazine and a Web piece that reports Christina Aguilera is pregnant. Except the Web-only story in question dates from June 7, does not include a photograph mentioned in the piece, and was only posted to OK!‘s Web site after Star‘s piece about Jackson.

    Trotting out questionably accurate celebrity gossip to beat the big story over at a competitor’s Web site? It seems U.K. import OK! has finally learned the American way.

    EARLIER:

  • Star Photoshops Jennifer Aniston
  • WSJ Sale Update: Does Philly Have A Shot?

    murdoch_060407.jpgOver at CNNMoney, Paul R. LaMonica is calling the sale of the Wall Street Journal the lamest bidding war ever, and we can’t blame him. As previously mentioned, NBC and Microsoft passed on a joint bid for Dow Jones. However, there’s still WSJ union favorite Ron Burkle and Philadelphia Inquirer owner Brian Tierney.

    But does the Philadelphia newspaper owner really have a shot at one of the biggest media properties in the country? In the Washington Post, the gossip columnist for one of Tierney’s papers gave an unequivocal (and bitter) no:

    “I’m tickled pink that Tierney has apparently found a mother lode of money coming from [the two newspapers] and I look forward to him sharing it with his employees,” Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky said yesterday. “I look forward to him welcoming back 75 people who lost their jobs because he said he couldn’t afford to keep them. I’m looking forward to our pension being restored now that he’s got enough money to be throwing at the Wall Street Journal. I’m looking forward to having our sick pay restored now that we know he’s so flush.”

    Read more

    Seventeen Launches Editorial Assistant: The Video Game

    seventeen_061107.jpgFlash girls

    Thank The Devil Wears Prada and Ugly Betty, but now teens across America dream of becoming editorial assistants. Seventeen magazine figured that would make a damn good Flash game. The result? The new Editor’s Assistant. In the game, players get to perform the job of virtual EA to Seventeen EIC Ann Shoket and real life Shoket assistant Clair Windsor also makes a cameo. Over at WWD, they picked up the gist of the game pretty easily:

    The objective is to complete as many of a week’s worth of administrative tasks without angering the not-surprisingly demanding boss. Virtual assistants then begin the game by customizing a character with a specific hairstyle and an outfit for the day (because, according to Windsor, what you wear “is very important thing when you work at a magazine.” … In addition to managing her to-do list, players must manage their boss’ emotions — a “happiness meter” measures the boss’ mood as the player works through the day. As the player completes each task, she earns points and extra ticks on the “happiness meter.” If she’s fast, the assistant could receive special treats of appreciation — a bouquet of flowers, a latte or a virtual trip to New York Fashion Week.

    The online game on Seventeen‘s site follows the recent addition of Flash gaming content to another Hearst Magazines property, Cosmogirl.

    Billboard Basing Rock Criticism Competition On ‘Number of Hits’

    You too can be a rock critic … or at least a tool of a corporate advertising campaign.

    In an effort to boost their brand image and hawk a new camera phone, LG MobileComm USA is teaming up with Billboard to dish out camera phones to 30 contestants and have them take photos and write reviews of concerts around the country. And how will the lucky winner be chosen — this new beacon of the critical establishment? By counting the number of hits to their blog, of course. Get the most hits and you win a trip to a Billboard Music Award show. Come in second or third and you get free LG mobile handsets.

    Snap!