The Winners of the 2009 Utne Independent Press Awards

(view press release and photos)

UIPA 2009 Winners Logo

Here at Utne Reader, we like independent-minded journalists who ask tough questions, upend conventional thinking, and challenge authority—the kind of journalists who might ask: What gives Utne Reader the right to hand out something called the Independent Press Awards—and what makes them such experts anyway?

Ahem. Well, we didn’t ask anyone’s permission to begin this 20-year tradition. We did it simply because no one else was properly recognizing the great writing, reporting, design, and storytelling being published outside the mainstream media. And since we were already receiving and reading thousands of alternative press titles in our library, we were well poised to take on the task.

A central part of our process in putting together Utne Reader is to winnow the best material by sharing our favorite magazine, journal, newsletter, and zine articles with our fellow editors and then getting together to debate, denigrate, celebrate, rant, and nitpick—often for hours. We critique reporting, assess literary value, parse arguments, deconstruct logic, and air our personal opinions as we figure out which stories merit the descriptor “The Best of Alternative Press,” the tagline on the cover of our magazine.

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