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Confirmed: Tony Ortega New Editor Of Voice; ‘Half-Mexican Kid From LA’ No Longer Has Mohawk

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It’s official: Tony Ortega, a self-decribed “half-Mexican kid from LA,” has been named Village Voice editor.

From the release:

Ortega and his wife Fatima, who is from Jakarta, Indonesia, are looking forward to reacquainting themselves with New York, where Ortega remembers — with no small amount of nostalgia — his days as an LA punk attending shows at CBGB and the Peppermint Lounge. Ortega no longer has a mohawk and is looking forward to leading the Village Voice.

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    The full release:

    New York, NY (January 29, 2007) — Award-winning journalist Tony Ortega has joined the Village Voice as editor-in-chief.

    Ortega is a Livingston Award and Eugene S. Pulliam Award finalist. He was most recently at the Broward-Palm Beach New Times in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, where he began as editor in 2005.

    Before his position at the Broward-Palm Beach New Times, Ortega was managing editor at The Pitch in Kansas City, and had reporting stints at both the New Times Los Angeles and Phoenix New-Times, where he was also associate editor.

    He has won a slew of awards for his reporting, including the prestigious Virg Hill Award, the Los Angeles Press Club Award for best news story, the 2002 Unity Award and the 2005 Association of Alternative Newsweeklies award for best column. He is also the winner of numerous Arizona Press Club awards for feature, explanatory, science and religion reporting.

    Ortega is perhaps best known for his investigative reporting. Over the last 25 years, he has exposed the corruption and cruelty of an Arizona county sheriff, cast doubt on an LAPD shooting of a homeless woman and debunked the expertise of a California professor who claimed anti-Semitism was a natural byproduct of evolution. Ortega’s four-year coverage of Maricopa County’s sheriff department prompted the first ever Amnesty International investigation.

    A Los Angeles native, Ortega was the recipient of Columbia University’s John Jay Scholarship, the highest award of its kind for first-year students, and spent a year-and-a-half at the school before transferring to California State University where he obtained both his B.A. and M.A. in English.

    Ortega and his wife Fatima, who is from Jakarta, Indonesia, are looking forward to reacquainting themselves with New York, where Ortega remembers — with no small amount of nostalgia — his days as an LA punk attending shows at CBGB and the Peppermint Lounge. Ortega no longer has a mohawk and is looking forward to leading the Village Voice.

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