Association of Alternative Newsmedia

The Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) is a diverse group of 126 alt-weekly news organizations covering every major metropolitan area and other less-populated regions of North America.

AAN was founded in Seattle, Wash., in 1978. It began with 30 newspapers, including San Francisco Bay Guardian, Creative Loafing, Phoenix New Times, Willamette Week and The Chicago Reader. To meet the association's rigorous membership standards, weekly newspapers must demonstrate that they produce high-quality journalism that offers a valuable alternative to the mainstream media in their area. As a result, only 30 percent of the papers that apply for membership are admitted to the organization. The 132 papers that now make up the association publish in 42 states and the District of Columbia in the United States, and in four Canadian provinces.

There are a wide range of publications in AAN. What ties them together are a strong focus on local news, culture and the arts; an informal and sometimes profane style; an emphasis on point-of-view reporting and narrative journalism; a tolerance for individual freedoms and social differences; and an eagerness to report on issues and communities that many mainstream media outlets ignore.
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