The Omaha Reader won recognition for several awards in a national competition hosted annually by the Association of Alternative Newsmedia.

For the second year in a row, The Reader was among the top nominated publications receiving five nods from the arts criticism, collaboration and multimedia categories.

Reader film critic Ryan Syrek won first place for a sample of his reviews including Lava Conquers All, Nothing Nowhere Nebulously Never, The Only Safe Place for a Gun Is in a Tom Cruise Movie Title.

“The wit in these film reviews is irreverent yet irresistible,” wrote one judge. “Rather than slog through plot synopsis, Ryan uses wry observations to evaluate the wisdom of acting and directing choices. With a lively voice that is willing to challenge popular consensus, he also produces feisty turns of phrase. One in particular, about Tom Cruise’s character in “Top Gun: Maverick,” stands out: ‘Instead of passing the torch to the next generation, he clings like a boomer to fossil fuel.’”

Bridget Fogarty and Chris Bowling placed second and third, as well as receiving an honorable mention, in the collaborations category for their work with Nebraska Public Media, Flatwater Free Press and The Hechinger Report. Those includes stories about Latino voters, police accountability and white flight from Omaha schools. The Reader made up three of the four nominated publications in the collaboration category.

Fogarty, Bowling and past Reader intern Isa Luzarraga placed second in the multimedia category for their work on the Reader Radio podcast.

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