Winners of the 2007 Utne Independent Press Awards
(Page 2 of 9)
To view the press release, click here.
General Excellence: Magazines
ColorLines, the 2007 general excellence winner, bills itself as “the national newsmagazine on race and politics,” but its scope is vastly broader. From economics, education, and the environment to immigration, queer issues, fine arts, and pop culture, ColorLines examines the myriad ways race—and our ideas about race—intersect with everyday life.
The Rants & Raves department showcases that mission in a nutshell, providing quick-hit analysis of the day’s top stories and “reading between the headlines” to commend and critique issues of race and class. These angles often go underreported, but ColorLines puts them front and center, as was the case when they wrote about a Dallas public elementary school where “for years, it was an open secret that white parents could get their children into all-white classes.”
The cover stories, though, are where ColorLines settles in, demonstrating essential perspective and sharp criticism. The May-June 2007 cover story, “For Sale: What New Orleans’ housing crisis reveals about race in American cities,” examines black communities struggling to resettle New Orleans and memorably calls for an “overdue debate on urban inequality.” In March-April 2007, we discovered “What Your Doctor Won’t See . . . If conservatives make healthcare ‘colorblind.’ ”
In addition to political and social reporting, ColorLines excels as a source for arts coverage. “The Rise of Krip-Hop,” a write-up on disabled rap artists in the May-June 2007 issue, introduced us to a genre we’d simply not seen covered elsewhere. And the “Fiction Issue” (Nov.-Dec. 2006) makes the case that creative writers are political figures, and that fiction, in the words of managing editor Daisy Hernández, “creates for us the story of what people actually experience.”
The 10-year-old publication entered 2007 with a fresh redesign and a new bimonthly format (formerly quarterly). We couldn’t be happier to celebrate its success, and we’re looking forward to 2008.
General Excellence: Zines
A tall, slim, uncluttered zine that arrives four or five times a year, Macaroni takes on whatever its publisher, John Toren, feels like writing about—philosophy, travel, film, food—and it’s a surprisingly successful formula. In large part, this is due to Toren’s exquisite knack for writing and storytelling, which makes a page-turner out of practically anything. Even his reflections on working at a (now-defunct) book warehouse, which occupied the whole of a recent issue, proved a fascinating read. It helps, too, that he clearly still delights in making Macaroni, 20 years after he rolled out the first issue. His writing is amiable and his mind clear; his thoughts move seamlessly from, say, a book he’s been reading by French intellectual Alain Finkielkraut to a review of happy hour specials at local restaurants. The 20-some pages of Macaroni are, quite simply, as much a joy to read as they must be to write.
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