2005 Utne Independent Press Awards: And the Winners Are...

The 17th annual list of the year's most inspiring, enlightening, and essential periodicals
Staff Utne magazine
January / February 2006
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UPDATE: Visit the nominees and winners of the 2009 Utne Independent Press Awards.

In the cultural desert of today's corporate media landscape, the independent press is more vital than ever; it's an oasis of information that brims with creative thinking, courageous reporting, and bold artistic expression. We turn to these sources for the ideas and articles that fill the pages of Utne, and every year we celebrate our favorites by awarding the best of the best with an Independent Press Award. To see the complete list of nominees, visit www.utne.com/uipa. -- The Editors

OnEarth
General Excellence: Magazines
With the environment in grave peril, this magazine from the Natural Resources Defense Council is an invaluable antidote to despair. Casual readers will find the accessible issue briefs, strategy notes, and hard-hitting investigative reports visually compelling. Activists can turn to deeper pieces that define key battles and ground-breaking solutions. $15/yr. (4 issues) including NRDC membership from 40 W. 20th St., New York, NY 10011; www.onearth.org.
Download award ad template

New Urban News
General Excellence: Newsletters
As big-box, car-dependent developments gobble up the landscape, this comprehensive newsletter equips readers with enough know-how to fight for (and create) responsible, walkable communities. $79/yr. (8 issues) from Box 6515, Ithaca, NY 14851; www.newurbannews.com.
Download award ad template

True Story!
General Excellence: Zines
Guaranteed to provoke reading aloud, this charming hand-drawn zine chronicles the adventures of a thoughtful human who enjoys eating garlic, copes with early-morning cat rambunctiousness, and attempts to draw himself on the verge of crying. $3/each from Barry Scanlan, 19367 120th Ave., Milaca, MN 56353.
Download award ad template

New Scientist
Science/Technology Coverage
The modest tagline 'science and technology news' doesn't capture the scope of this U.K.-based mainstay. Beat-breaking briefs, provocative columnists, and an eye for the sobering as well as the quirky make this weekly's consistently excellent coverage a laudable feat. $140/yr. (51 issues) from 6277 Sea Harbor Dr., Orlando, FL 32887; www.newscientist.com.
Download award ad template

Oxford American
Best Writing
This collector closes shop and, like a phoenix from the ashes, rises again with surprising regularity -- and thank goodness. The cultural coverage sharpens with each rebirth, and the impeccable prose continues to shed light on the anomalies of Southern living. $29.95/yr. (4 issues) from Box 1963, Marion, OH 43306; www.oxfordamericanmag.com.
Download award ad template

ColorLines
Cultural/Social Coverage
With its sharp analysis and savvy story selection, this Oakland-based magazine draws outside the lines and fills in the spaces when it comes to covering race. $16/yr. (4 issues) from PMB 319, 4096 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, CA 94611; www.colorlines.com.
Download award ad template

Ascent
Spiritual Coverage
Subtle, haunting essays and serialized re-renderings of the Gita as a Snoopy cartoon intermingle in this inspiring read. Devoted to Eastern spiritual philosophy and practices, this stark but striking black-and-white magazine lifts up both body and soul. $19.95/yr. (4 issues) from 334 Cornelia St., Suite 2, PMB 519, Plattsburgh, NY 12901; www.ascentmagazine.com.
Download award ad template

Wax Poetics
Arts/Literary Coverage
This lovingly rendered bimonthly recaptures those grooves that were lost, both literally and figuratively, when jazz, funk, and hip-hop went digital. Like the vinyl recordings to which it pays tribute, the magazine's mind-altering illustrations and kinetic photographs beg for a frame, while the prose crackles with truth and soul. $38/yr. (6 issues) from 45 Main Street, Suite 311, Brooklyn, NY 11201; www.waxpoetics.com.
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$pread
Best New Title
Giving a voice to the voiceless is a basic journalistic responsibility, but sit down with an issue of this already controversial title and you'll realize how effectively the mainstream media have denied sex workers a place at the table. Smart and culturally revealing, this quarterly magazine aims to educate, inform, and provoke discussion about the state of sex work. $15.95/yr. (4 issues) from Box 305, Cooper Station, New York, NY 10276; www.spreadmagazine.org.
Download award ad template

The Chicago Reporter
Local Coverage
With an eye toward race and poverty, this nonprofit magazine reports on issues facing metropolitan Chicago. Tackling tricky topics from teaching abstinence-only sex education to teenage parents (with the materials that are supplied free to schools) to how to keep ex-offenders from returning to prison, each bimonthly issue is hard-hitting, readable, and relevant. $12/yr. (11 issues) from 332 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60604; www.chicagoreporter.com.
Download award ad template

New Internationalist
International Coverage
Focusing on social justice issues such as caste, homelessness, and economic migration, this monthly magazine features digestible political profiles (both geographic and personal) and comprehensive coverage of the Southern Hemisphere. $44/yr. (12 issues) from Box 1062, Niagara Falls, NY 14304; www.newint.org.
Download award ad template

Shameless
Personal Life Coverage
Imagine being up to beat on news, gender issues, activism, career choices, and health -- at age 16. With great writing and a hip design, this quarterly publication proves that a magazine for young women can be as readable as it is essential. Outside Canada $22 Canadian/yr. (4 issues); in Canada, $12 from Box 68548, 360A Bloor St. W., Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1X1; www.shamelessmag.com.
Download award ad template

The Texas Observer
Political Coverage
We grab this low-budget biweekly for its wealth of rich local color, resourceful reporting, and political savvy. While blue state pundits squander barrels of ink on second-guesses, this progressive nonprofit sticks to its guns, a prerequisite when you're tracking outlaws from Texas. $27/yr. (24 issues) from 307 W. 7th St., Austin, TX 78701; www.texasobserver.org.
Download award ad template

Small Farmer's Journal
Environmental Coverage
This robust quarterly journal, with its sumptuous 11- by 14-inch pages and pleasing antiquated design, has been 'defending craftsmanship and believing in people' since 1976. The writers cover everything from old-fashioned ice cutting to horse farming in Italy, with an emphasis on sustainability and an eye toward entertaining prose. $30/yr. (4 issues) from Box 1627, Sisters, OR 97759; www.smallfarmersjournal.com.
Download award ad template

ONLINE

Grist Magazine
Online Political Coverage
The environmental coverage in this user-friendly and well-designed Web magazine is informative, comprehensive, and fresh. And a healthy dose of humor brings environmentalists down to earth while still inspiring the apathetic to save it. www.grist.org.
Download award ad template

Voices That Must Be Heard
Online Cultural Coverage
In culling articles from New York's wide-ranging ethnic, immigrant, and community presses, the online publication of the Independent Press Association in New York illuminates stories and taps journalists from communities of all stripes. www.indypressny.org.
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IMPORTANT NOTE TO UIPA WINNERS: Source graphic image files for the award ad template can be downloaded here.


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