The News & Review is a group of free alternative weekly newspapers published by Chico Community Publishing, Inc. of Chico, California. The company publishes the Chico News & Review in Chico, California, the Sacramento News & Review in Sacramento, California and the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nevada.
The chain started out as an on-campus newspaper for California State University, Chico called The Wildcat, but after a dispute with the administration, the newspaper moved off campus to become an independent publication.
The mission of the News & Review is:
"To publish great newspapers that are successful and enduring. To create a quality work environment that encourages employees to grow professionally while respecting personal welfare. To have a positive impact on our communities and make them better places to live."
Chico News & Review
The Chico News & Review (CN&R) was the first of the three News & Review papers, founded in 1977. The Chico News & Review is noted as one of the few alternative papers to out-circulate its local daily paper, the Chico Enterprise-Record, with a cumulative readership of over 100,000, according to the Circulation Verification Council's 2015 report. The founding editor was Robert Speer, and the current editor is Melissa Daugherty.
In 2016, a partnership with the North Valley Community Foundation, and matching small community donations, has helped support investigative journalism in Butte County, California.
Its most well-known annual issues are:
- Best of, annual issue with the results of a readers' poll and editors' choices of the best places, people and things in Chico
- Keep Chico Weird, annual issue coinciding with the Keep Chico Weird event
- Goin' Chico, annual student guide to welcome new California State University, Chico students to the area
- Cammies (Chico Area Music Awards), annual issue profiling the readers' and critics' choice for best bands and musicians
In 2005, the Chico News & Review started the Chico Area Music Celebration (CAMMIES) to honor the vibrant, eclectic music scene in Butte County, California. Winners are selected by CN&R readers in a list of musical genres, including Singer-songwriter, Hard Rock/Metal, Blues, Jam/R&B/Funk, Rap, Punk/Ska and others. Critics vote for winners in more specific areas, e.g. Best Male/Female vocalist, Best Guitarist, Best Drummer, Best Local CD, Local Badass, etc.
Keep Chico Weird is an annual event to honor the weird of Chico and Butte County, who help foster an environment of tolerance and creativity. CN&R produces a Keep Chico Weird Art Show and a Keep Chico Weird Talent Show, that highlights a wide range of artists and art, including sword swallowers, mimes, spelling-bee champs, organ grinders, etc.
Chico Beer Week is another annual event celebrating craft beer in Chico and is coordinated with local breweries, bars, restaurants and retailers responsible for the area's local craft-beer scene.
- , 2013: An award-winning consumer investigation of what's really in the local drinking water supply
- , 2003: Days before the United States invaded Iraq, this cover story warned that it might take "many years and cost hundreds of billions of dollars" to build a new nation in Iraq
- , 2001: When Jack Nickerson Jr. was killed after a gas tank exploded, this story revealed that government agents' negligence was a major factor in his death
- The Bidwell Bungle, 1995: After purchasing 1,380 acres of land on the south side of Big Chico Creek, CN&R discovered that the city of Chico had been flummoxed by the sellers and had overpaid by as much as $1 million
- The Kids Society Forgot, 1990: Multi-story issue on the foster-care system, illuminating the lives of 700 Butte County children who were taken away from their parents
- Boys of the Valley, 1988: Special issue on chronicling the lives of every one of the 66 area soldiers killed in the Vietnam war
- 1st place in Front Page (Tabloid), Environmental Reporting, Columns in 2014, California Newspaper Publishers Association
- 1st place in Page Layout & Design (Tabloid), 2nd place in Coverage of Education, Special Section in 2013
- 1st place in 1st Best Feature Story in 2012, California Newspaper Publishers Association
- 1st place in Best Front Page-Tabloid in 2012, California Newspaper Publishers Association
- 1st place in Best Writing in 2012, California Newspaper Publishers Association
- 1st place in Coverage of Local Government in 2011, California Newspaper Publishers Association
- 1st place in Editorial Pages in 2009, California Newspapers Publishers Association
- 1st place in Special Issue in 2009, California Newspapers Publishers Association
- 1st place in Public Service in 2008, California Newspapers Publishers Association
- 1st place in Editorial Pages in 2008, California Newspapers Publishers Association
- 1st place in Editorial Comment in 2008, California Newspapers Publishers Association
- 1st place in Business/Financial Story in 2008, California Newspapers Publishers Association
- 1st place in Writing, Editorial Pages and Feature Story in 2006, California Newspaper Publishers Association
- 1st place in General Excellence in 2004, California Newspaper Publishers Association
Sacramento News & Review
The Sacramento News & Review (SN&R), founded in 1989, is the largest of the three News & Review papers, with a cumulative readership of roughly 330,000 people, according to the Winter 2015 Media Audit Report, run by International Demographics. The founding editor was Melinda Welsh; the paper's current editors are Rachel Leibrock and Nick Miller.
Its most well-known annual issues are:
- Best of, annual issue with the results of a readers' poll and editors' choices of the best places, people and things in Sacramento
- Summer Guide & Winter Guide, seasonal guides about what to do during each season in and around Sacramento
- Sammies (Sacramento Area Music Awards), annual issue profiling the readers' and critics' choice for best bands and musicians
In 2013, a grant from the Sacramento Emergency Foodlink allowed the SN&R to conduct independent research, reporting and distribution of articles on the subject of poverty in the Sacramento region from November 2012 to October 2013.
The paper is noted as the last place of employment of investigative journalist Gary Webb, who began working at the paper after the Dark Alliance scandal. Webb allegedly committed suicide while working for the paper.
Sacramento Area Music Awards
In 1992, the Sacramento News & Review started the Sacramento Area Music Awards (SAMMIES) to honor and promote the growing music scene in Sacramento. Winners are selected by SN&R readers in a list of musical genres, including Folk Rock, Funk, Hard Rock, Blues, Punk and many more. Critics vote for winners in more specific areas, e.g. Male/Female vocalist, Keyboardist, Bassist, etc. Winners of the SAMMIES include Cake (band), Deftones, Oleander (band) and others.
On the first anniversary of September 11th, the Sacramento News & Review brought together musical acts from different faith groups around Sacramento for a Call For Unity Event to symbolize the city's acceptance of racial and religious diversity. Every year someone in the region was honored with a Building Unity Award for their interfaith work in Sacramento, until 2008, when the last Call for Unity event was held.
In December 2015, the News & Review, in partnership with Sacramento's local Habitat for Humanity, began a Build for Unity project, where Muslims, Christians, and other faith groups came together to build Habitat houses, in part as a response to the anti-Muslim rhetoric of national politics. The project was funded in large part by generous donations from a wide range of faith groups.
- , 2004: Joel Davis was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and wrote and award-winning first-person account of the brain surgery he underwent while conscious
- , 2002: News & Review led 30 weeklies in a national effort to cover the issue of priests who leave the Catholic Church because they can no longer live with the celibacy requirements
- Poor America, 1997: News & Review led a national effort of 90 weekly newspapers around the country in a conversation about welfare reform and extreme poverty in the nation
- Mainstream Newspapers, R.I.P., 1996: Cover story predicting the decline of daily newspapers by 2006, a prediction which has largely come true
- What's Up Chuck, 1996: Award-winning investigative story about the curious relationship between big insurance and the California Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush
- Free Speech, 1994: This issue is the culmination of a five-month censorship battle with right-wing group, American Family Association
- 1st place in General Excellence, Best Investigative Reporting, Best Front Page (tabloid), Coverage of local government in 2015, California Newspaper Publishers Association
- 1st place in Best Feature Story, Best Page Layout in 2014, California Newspaper Publishers Association
- 1st place in Investigative Reporting, Artistic Photo in 2013, California Newspaper Publishers Association
- 1st place in Feature Writing, Arts & Entertainment Coverage, Business/Financial Story, Sports Story, Special Issue in 2011, California Newspaper Publishers Association
- 1st place in General Excellence, Freedom of Information, Best Website, Editorial Cartoon, Writing in 2008, California Newspaper Publishers Association
- 1st place in Illustration in 2005, Association of Alternative Newsmedia
- 2nd place in Cover Design in 2004, Association of Alternative Newsmedia
- 1st place in General Excellence in 1997, California Newspaper Publishers Association
- 1st place in Investigative Reporting in 1996 for the story California's Secret Stash by Curt Guyette, Association of Alternative Newsmedia
In 2015, after learning that Mayor Kevin Johnson primarily used a private email account with his staff while in public office, the Sacramento News & Review issued a Freedom of Information request to gain access to (then) Mayor Kevin Johnson's emails. An attorney for the city deemed the emails public property, but instead of handing them over, the Mayor moved to sue the Sacramento News & Review and the city of Sacramento. In response to the lawsuit, the Sacramento News & Review published a cover story where, according to their statement, a cartoon depicts Kevin Johnson as "sweaty and nervous while reading about his lawsuit against this paper and allegations of email misuse." Betty Williams, the former president of Sacramento's local NAACP and a longtime associate of Kevin Johnson, released a statement criticizing the paper for its "racially biased news coverage" of the mayor, mainly referring to the cartoon portrayal of the mayor. The lawsuit and the allegations of racially biased news coverage attracted the attention of Deadspin who began covering the story, bringing national attention to the many allegations against Kevin Johnson, including allegations of sexual assault and harassment. This national attention put pressure of ESPN to not air a film praising Kevin Johnson's work in Sacramento with the Sacramento Kings and their new downtown arena. Almost immediately after ESPN pulled the film, Kevin Johnson announced that he would not be seeking another term as Mayor of the City of Sacramento. In March 2016, the News & Review was recognized by the James Madison Freedom of Information Awards for its significant contributions to advancing freedom of information for this legal battle to obtain Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson's emails.
Reno News & Review
The Reno News & Review (RN&R) was founded in 1995, when News & Review purchased the assets of Nevada Weekly, changing the name and creating the third News & Review paper. The Reno News & Review has a cumulative readership of roughly 90,000, according to the Winter 2015 Media Audit Report, run by International Demographics. The current editor is D. Brian Burghart, noted for his national project, Fatal Encounters, which uses crowd sourced data to estimate the number of killings by law enforcement officers in the United States. In 2016, the acting editor is Brad Bynum.
Its most well-known annual issues are:
- Best of, annual issue with the results of a readers' poll and editors' choices of the best places, people and things in Northern Nevada
- Summer, Fall & Winter Guide, seasonal guides to what to do in Northern Nevada
- Prep for the Playa, annual guide for people who plan to make the trek to Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert
Rollin' on the River began in 1996 as a community concert series, and has evolved into one of Reno's largest free summer music events. Rollin' on the River is held in Wingfield Park, an island amphitheater on the Truckee River, during the month of July and features both local and regional touring artists.
- , 2014: Roughly yearlong series focused on the six specific areas of “When law enforcement kills,” this series and the accompanying brought national attention to the current editor, D. Brian Burghart, who appeared on the The Daily Show and whose writings and research were featured in Gawker and other news outlets
- , 2003: Cover story about the 30-year battle of two Western Shoshone grandmothers trying to live and raise cattle on their ancestral lands
- , 2002: Two Reno men talk about what it's like to maintain their lives with a lifelong drug addiction
- , 2001: Exposé about missing money and leadership problems at Nevada Mental Health Institute yet-to-be-opened hospital
- Paying Debts, 1999: RN&R investigation of the campaign finances of Reno City Councilwoman Sherrie Doyle resulted in 16 felony indictments
- Inaugural Eddie Scott/Bertha Woodard Human Rights Advocacy Award for "Fatal Encounters," "On Paper" and "When Hate Comes to Town" in 2015, The NAACP Reno-Sparks Branch No. 1112
- Freedom of the Press Award in 2015, Association of Alternative Newsmedia
- 1st place in Story of the Year, Freedom of the Press, Best Explanatory Journalism, Community Service, Best Investigative/In-depth Story or Series, Best Spot News Story, Best Non-staff Story, Best Information Graphic, Best Local Non-Staff Column in 2015, Nevada Press Association
- 1st place in Freedom of the Press in the Urban Weeklies category, Best Spot News Story, Silver Star Award, Best Non-staff Story, Best Business Feature, Best Non-staff Column, Best Sports Feature, Best Entertainment Writing, Best Critical Writing, Best Page One Design, Best Large Space Ad, Best Special Section or Campaign Advertising,Best Online Writing in 2014, Nevada Press Association
- 1st place in Freedom of the Press, Best Local Non-Staff Column, Best Investigative/In-depth Story or Series, Best News Feature Story, Best Spot News Story, Best Special Section or Campaign (Advertising), Best Editorial Writing, Best-In-House Promotion, Best Illustration, Best Information Graphic, Best Non-staff story, Editorial of the Year, Best Online Writing in 2013, Nevada Press Association
- 1st place in Illustration in 2005, Association of Alternative Newsmedia
- 1st place in Cover Design 2003, Association of Alternative Newsmedia
- Golden Pinecone Award for Excellence in Environmental Reporting in 2003
- 1st place in Editorial Layout in 2003, Association of Alternative Newsmedia
N&R Publications was founded in 2010 as a separate division of the company that produces advertorial publications for nonprofit organizations, government offices and businesses. The publications, which are inserted into all three News & Review papers as well as other newspapers around the country, use a journalistic approach to communicate complicated messages on behalf of the client organization. The custom publications range in topic, and include a breakdown of how to sign up for , how to , how the The operates, and others.
In 2002, in cooperation with AlterNet, the News & Review led a national project with more than 30 weeklies nationwide to cover the story of married priests and the Catholic Church reform movement.
In 2007, the News & Review, with the help of a small grant from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, led 53 alternative weeklies across the country in a joint cover project marking the 10-year anniversary of the Kyoto Accord, the first international attempt to bring world leaders together to combat climate change.
In 2012, the News & Review received a grant from the Sierra Health Foundation to help fund stories throughout California about the state's low rates of participation in CalFresh, colloquially known as food stamps.
In 2015, the News & Review led a nationwide project, Letters to the Future, asking authors, artists, scientists and other to write to future generations predicting the success or failure of the 2015 U.N. Climate Talks in Paris. Hundreds of letters were collected and presented to diplomats present in Paris, including letters penned by Michael Pollan, Jane Smiley, Stephen Robinson, Aisha Kahlil, T. C. Boyle, Kim Stanley Robinson, Annie Leonard, Roxana Barry Robinson, Jack Miles, Pam Houston, Geraldine Brooks (writer), Rebecca Goldstein, Lois Wolk, Harry Reid, Brent Bourgeois and others.