Michael Lacey (pictured), co-owner of the Village Voice Media chain of alt-weeklies which includes the SF Weekly, used the N-word while accepting an award from the Phoenix chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

SPJ was honoring Lacey and business partner Jim Larkin for stories that exposed an Arizona prosecutor’s attempts to obtain Internet records of anyone who had ever visited their Phoenix paper’s Web sites.

According to the Mesa, Ariz., East Valley Tribune, Lacey used the term “my (n-word)” during his acceptance speech, referring to his friend, the late Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Tom Fitzpatrick.

A black journalist in the audience fired off an e-mail to Lacey the next day, demanding an apology. She noted that the event coincided with the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Lacey apologized on Monday.

It wasn’t the first time Lacey’s use of an obscenity made news. On March 5, as a San Francisco jury read its verdict ordering Village Voice Media to pay the Bay Guardian $15.6 million, Lacey could be overheard in court saying “shit” to himself over and over, according to the Guardian.

SF Press Club News

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