News Release 



Contacts:Lynsay Montour, public relations specialist: 785-274-4441, 


Utne Reader Honors Top Publications at the 20th Annual Independent Press Awards 

Ceremony recognizes innovative, in-depth coverage in magazine journalism 


MINNEAPOLIS (May 18, 2009) — Utne Reader presented 12 awards for outstanding journalism in 2008 at the 20th Annual Utne Independent Press Awards, held Sunday, May 17 at the Independent Magazine Conference at the St. Julien Hotel and Spa in Boulder, Colo.  


Virginia Quarterly Review won for General Excellence. The Utne Reader editors were especially impressed with VQR’s dedication to international coverage and long-form journalism, rare in these economic times. Canada’s The Walrus took home the Best Writing award, its third nomination and second win. It was named best new publication in 2004, and one of its recent feature stories is on the cover of Utne Reader’s July-August issue. This year’s Best New Publication award went to Lapham’s Quarterly, which builds each of its themed issues around an eccentric cast of writers — living and dead. Rad Dad was honored as Best Zine for its openness about the challenges of parenthood in a multi-ethnic world. 


Utne Reader Editor-in-Chief David Schimke presented the awards at a dinner attended by 100 publishers and editors from the independent press. A number of nominees were present including Teresa Stack, president of The Nation, John Mecklin, editor-in-chief of Miller-McCune, and editors from New Mobility, Natural Solutions and High Country News. Utne Reader’s publisher, Bryan Welch, spoke about the future of journalism, as did Schimke, who mentioned that the media is in the midst of a revolution. 


“What will that revolution look like?” Schimke asked. “It’s clear no one knows, but what’s certain is that the best content — whether it’s printed, delivered digitally or broadcast — will ultimately be rewarded.” 


The 2008 Utne Independent Press Award winners are: 

General Excellence — Virginia Quarterly Review 

Best New Publication — Lapham’s Quarterly 

Best Writing — The Walrus 

Best Zine — Rad Dad 

Best Arts Coverage — The Fader 

Best Environmental Coverage — Mother Jones 

Best Health and Wellness Coverage — Psychotherapy Networker 

Best International Coverage — New Statesman 

Best Political Coverage — The New Republic 

Best Science/Technology Coverage — Miller-McCune 

Best Social/Cultural Coverage — Bidoun 

Best Spiritual Coverage — Geez


For more information on the awards presentation, go to


Rather than requiring entry forms or fees, Utne Reader’s editors select nominees based on their day-to-day interaction with the more than 1,300 periodicals in the Utne library. Each publication is judged based on how well it fulfilled its stated mission over the past year. Magazines published by large media conglomerates are excluded. The goal is to honor independently minded publications that don’t shy away from tough stories and innovative ideas.


About Utne ReaderSince 1984, Utne Reader ( has been the vanguard of the alternative press, celebrating independent news and views from across the political spectrum. With ideas, trends and solutions you won’t see in the mainstream media for months or even years, those who want to know what’s happening next, read Utne Reader first. 


NOTE: Cover images for all winners and event photos are available upon request. 

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