The 2000 Winners

| January/February 2001 Issue

UPDATE: Visit the nominees and winners of the 2009 Utne Independent Press Awards.

For 12 years UTNE READER has recognized excellence in alternative and independent magazine publishing through its Alternative Press Awards. The Awards are a distinction made by our staff to celebrate the seldom recognized efforts of the alternative press, and as a service to our readers who want to know about alternatives to mass media magazine publishing. These awards honor individual publications that especially impressed our editorial staff during the previous year.

The awards are not the result of a competition; they emerge from the extensive reading our staff does as part of the process of producing UTNE READER. Our editors read many hundreds of alternative and independent titles looking for articles and ideas that are interesting, timely, well-written, and thought-provoking.

This year we also gave you, our readers, a chance to weigh in with our interactive Reader's Choice Poll. See the results on the second page.

And the winners are...
Click on a category for subscription and contact information for all nominees for that award.
General Excellence - Magazines
Mother Jones
After an excellent year in 1999, this venerable bimonthly keeps getting better. The San Francisco–based Mother Jones is one of the best chronicles of American life (and its discontents) now on the newsstand.
$18/yr.(6 issues) from Box 334, Mt. Morris, IL 61054; 800/438-6656;
General Excellence - Zines
Punk Planet
You don’t have to love punk rock to be drawn into the orbit of Chicago’s Punk Planet, a bimonthly that features a wild array of articles on music, politics, the micro-press scene, and the do-it-yourself revolution now sweeping the land. $18/yr. (6 issues) from Vital Music Mailorder, Box 210, New York, NY 10276; 773/784-9774;
General Excellence - Newsletters
The Hightower Lowdown
Radio populist Jim Hightower is known for being equal parts witty and scathing—the volatile blend that also fuels The Hightower Lowdown, the nation’s only monthly update on political folly and corporate excess that’s funny and inflammatory in the same breath. $15/yr. (12 issues) from Box 10011, New York, NY 10114-1151;
Reporting Excellence
If you like your nature writing based in fact rather than sentimentality, the bi-monthly Audubon, from the National Audubon Society, is a great source of well crafted, carefully reported articles on environmental issues. $35/yr. membership (6 issues) from Box 52529, Boulder, CO 80322; 800/274-4201;
Writing Excellence
The American Scholar
Ever thoughtful, never precious, The American Scholar, a Washington-based quarterly largely dedicated to essays and memoirs, proves once again that the life of the mind and mastery of the pen need not be separate careers. $25/yr. (4 issues) from 1785 Massachusetts Av. NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20036; 800/821-4567;
Design Excellence
Striking an elegant balance between art and text, with a special emphasis on photography, Orion, a national quarterly dedicated to the Orion Society’s call for the "humane stewardship" of nature, is as much a joy to look at as it is to read. $30/yr. membership (8 issues) from 195 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230; 888/909-6568;
Local/Regional Coverage
The Stranger
An arts and entertainment weekly stuffed with everything under the Seattle sun—at least when it shines—The Stranger does honor to the hallowed, irreverent, and just slightly sleazy tradition of the hip hometown tabloid. $59.99/yr. (52 issues) from 1535 11th Ave., Third Floor, Seattle, WA 98122-3934; 206/323-7101
Spiritual Coverage
Shambhala Sun
A handsome magazine of Buddhist practice and culture, Shambhala Sun never fears to venture into politics, psychology, and any other field where Buddha’s noble truths can shed light on contemporary reality. $24/yr. (6 issues) from 1345 Spruce St., Boulder, CO 80302; 902/422-8404;
International Coverage
Intelligent, provocative, and unpredictable, Transition, a quarterly based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, continues to amaze with its wide-ranging survey of the myriad subcultures at play in the modern world. $27/yr. (4 issues) from Duke University Press, Box 90660, Durham, NC 27708-0660; 888/387-5765;
Political/Social Coverage
Ms., the venerated bimonthly out of Manhattan, may be the grande dame of American feminist periodicals, but it’s been ranging across the culture more like a lean huntress lately, turning out some of its smartest, most relevant commentary in decades. $45/yr. (6 issues) from Box 5299, Harlan, IA 51593; 800/234-4486;
Personal Life Coverage
The Bark
For anyone who thinks the canine cranium holds nothing but visions of fire hydrants and open car windows, we highly recommend The Bark, a Berkeley-based quarterly about life with dogs that’s engaging enough to bring even cat lovers to heel. $15/yr. (4 issues) from 2810 8th St., Berkeley, CA 94710; 510/704-0827;
Cultural Coverage
Stay Free!
Tired of commodity culture gnawing away at your soul? Stay Free!, a nonprofit magazine based in New York, is fighting back by turning a critical eye on commercialism and the empire of advertising. $10/3 issues from Box 306, Prince St. Station, New York, NY 10012; 718/398-9324;
Science/Environmental Coverage
E Magazine
Whether reporting on biodegradable carpet, the illegal trade in macaws, or a planet that grows more steamy by the month, E, a Connecticut-based bimonthly founded a decade ago as a clearinghouse for environmental information, never fails to remind its readers that there are many ways, both big and little, to be green. $20/yr. (6 issues) from Box 2047, Marion, OH 43306; 815/734- 1242; 
New Paradigm/Emerging Culture Coverage
The melding of the modern Western mind with an ancient sense of soul is the editorial alchemy underlying Lapis, a fascinating journal chronicling the modern search for meaning published three times a year by the New York Open Center. $15/yr. (3 issues) from 83 Spring St., New York, NY 10012; 760/743-6730;
Best New Title
Ambitious and messy in the best of ways, Clamor, a bimonthly out of Bowling Green, Ohio, written by and for young radical activists, harks back to the rough and ready alternative press of the 1960s. $18/yr. (6 issues) from Box 1225, Bowling Green, OH 43402; 419/353-7035;
Arts & Literature Coverage
Rain Taxi Review of Books
Perhaps the best vehicle around for reviews of small-press poetry and prose, the Minneapolis-based Rain Taxi is the ride of choice for anyone who wants to believe that literary criticism is a living art. $12/yr. (4 issues) from Box 3840, Minneapolis, MN 55403; 612/825-1528;

2000 Reader's Choice Poll Winners
General Excellence (Magazines): Mother Jones
General Excellence (Newsletters):
General Excellence (Zines):
Punk Planet
Writing Excellence:
Mother Jones
Design Excellence:
Personal Life Coverage:
Natural Home
Science and Environment:
Reporting Excellence:
International Coverage:
New Internationalist
Cultural Coverage:
Political and Social Coverage:
Color Lines
Spiritual Coverage:
Shambhala Sun
Arts and Literature:
Villiage Voice
Local/Regional Coverage:
Villiage Voice
New Paradigm/Emerging Culture Coverage:
Whole Earth
Best New Title:
To-Do List

Compiled by the editors of Utne Reader.