The Fort Worth Weekly team hit some homers recently in the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ national competition. Texas Music, “boxcar tourist” Bo Keely and, of course that local character named Barnett Shale loomed large in the stories that brought the Weekly team a second place and two first places in the 2010 AltWeekly Awards. Most prestigious of all: the Public Service Award, which went to Peter Gorman, Dan McGraw, and Jeff Prince for a set of stories representing our coverage of the shale debate during 2009. (As loyal readers might suspect, the six stories we submitted for that entry were a mere sampler package of our shale coverage during the year.)


Peter’s first-place feature story, “Renaissance of the Rails,” was about Keely, the one-of-a-kind author and former nationally ranked athlete who has crisscrossed this country for decades by hopping freights.

It was another profile, “Phases and Stages,” about longtime Texas concert promoter Roy Stamps, that won second place for Jeff in the arts features category.

And Peter, Jeff, and Dan shared reporting and writing duties on the Barnett Shale coverage that won the public service honors. That included cover stories by Peter – “Sacrificed to Shale” about a DISH-ful of drilling woes suffered by one small town — and Dan, who wrote about gas companies reneging on mineral lease agreements in “Worth the Paper They’re Written On.” The other pieces of the package: “Gas Well Smell Test,” by Jeff, and “Compressed Anger,” “Big Takeover,” and “Shift in the Shale” by Peter.

The AltWeekly Awards, according to AAN’s web site, “honor superior journalism and graphic design among alternative newsweeklies across the United States and Canada. The contest seeks to promote excellence by recognizing work that is well written, incisively reported and effectively challenges established orthodoxies.”

That’s us. Get your excellent writing, keen reporting, and orthodoxy challenges fresh here, every week.