AAN News

East Bay Express Grabs Eleven Awards in East Bay Press Club Contest

East Bay Express went home with eleven awards at the East Bay Press Club’s 2009 Excellence in Print Journalism Contest last week. Five awards were for first place: Stephen Buel won for best page design, Kathleen Wentz took first in the investigative reporting category, Robert Gammon received two first place awards for best columnist and best analysis, and Rachel Swan won the top prize in the profile category.
East Bay Express  |  06-30-2010  4:51 pm  |  Honors & Achievements

Four Alt-Weeklies Among SoCal Journalism Awards Winners

The Los Angeles Press Club held its annual SoCal Journalism Awards last night and four AAN papers went home with honors. (FULL STORY)
Los Angeles Press Club  |  06-28-2010  5:48 pm  |  Honors & Achievements

Bartash Acquires New Tensor Web Press

Market Leader Increases capacity to meet growing demand (FULL STORY)
Bartash Printing Press Release  |  06-28-2010  11:43 am  |  Press Releases

Early Registration Deadline for Toronto Approaches

Members and non-members have until the end of the day tomorrow, Friday, June 25 to receive the early registration discount for AAN's 33rd Annual Convention in Toronto. The discounted rate for members and associate members is $325 per person, and the discounted rate for non-members is $425 per person. Both rates will increase by $50 per person after Friday night.

In addition, when three representatives from the same member paper sign up, that paper will get a fourth registration free of charge. This offer will remain valid after the early registration deadline.

Click here to register online.

As of today, June 24, the Hilton Toronto still has a very limited number of rooms available at AAN's discounted rate of $139.00 (CAD) per night. Click here to reserve a room at AAN's group rate and contact the AAN office if you encounter any difficulty obtaining the group rate through their site.

AAN  |  06-24-2010  7:28 pm  |  Association News

Can a Redesign Boost the Bottom Line?

Ron Reason's recent redesign of Creative Loafing (Atlanta) was a bold articulation of the notion that any redesign effort should consider the question of revenue. His fresh treatment of alt-weekly mainstays such as the adult classifieds -- rebranded as "wink*" in Atlanta -- and use of creative advertising concepts like peel-away ads are just two examples of how a redesign can "give advertisers a reason to be excited about print again."

Can a similar approach work for your paper?

Reason will be in Toronto to provide a peek into the Atlanta alt-weekly's makeover and share tips on how to approach the overhaul of your print product, including the often overlooked task of incorporating your sales team into the process. Ron Reason is a visiting faculty member at The Poynter Institute and a design consultant who has assisted a variety of newspapers and magazines across the globe in rethinking the visual aspects of advertising.

"I always advise clients: why just switch fonts? Why not redesign for growth?" Reason explained on his blog. His session will leave you with plenty of ideas on how to lure in new clients with innovative marketing offerings that blend seamlessly with editorial content to create a finished product that advertisers will want to be a part of.
AAN  |  06-23-2010  5:38 pm  |  Association News

Jersey Shore Boys 'Tricked' Into Posing For Village Voice Queer Issue?

Three male cast members of MTV's hit show 'Jersey Shore' grace the cover of Village Voice's annual Queer Issue, which hits the streets today. The New York Post reports that the cast members weren't told how their pictures would be used. In a tweet responding to critics of the Voice's decision to run the photos, editor Tony Ortega said, "It's only unethical if you think being a gay icon -- or gayness itself -- is somehow bad."
New York Post / Village Voice  |  06-23-2010  5:22 pm  |  Industry News  |  Comments (1)

Three SF Bay Area AAN Papers Pick Up Awardsnew

Palo Alto Weekly was a big winner at the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club's annual awards dinner on Saturday. Competing in the Non-Daily division, the paper took home three first-place awards (General Excellence, Technology Story, Entertainment Review) and received nine honors overall. San Francisco Bay Guardian picked up two first-place awards (Editorial, News/Political Column) and four overall; and SF Weekly was also a first-place winner in two categories (Light Feature Story, Serious Feature Story).
San Francisco Peninsula Press Club  |  06-22-2010  1:10 pm  |  Honors & Achievements

What is the 'Secret Weapon' of Alt-Weeklies?

Culture maven Patricia Martin says that in addition to being technologically savvy, the next generation of consumers is politically aware, hungry for knowledge, and are attracted towards brands that project authenticity.

All of this, Martin says, augurs well for alt-weeklies, which -- unlike mainstream media -- are uniquely positioned to capitalize on these trends.

"Some media outlets are doomed if they don't read the cultural trends," Martin says. "But independents have a secret weapon, they just need to optimize it."

The highly sought after keynote speaker and author of Renaissance Generation: The Rise of the Cultural Consumer and What it Means to Your Business, Patricia Martin will explain why she's bullish on the future of alt-media during an afternoon session at AAN's convention next month. Her award-winning consulting firm LitLamp Communications uses culture to connect brands with communities of consumers; and in Toronto she will demonstrate how alt-weeklies can use the lessons she's learned to create "emotional bonds" with their readers that will translate back to advertising dollars.

Martin's spot-on appraisal of the current cultural transition will be the final session on Friday, July 16, and is guaranteed to give convention attendees plenty to talk about as the evening's festivities commence.
AAN  |  06-21-2010  8:41 pm  |  Association News

Should AAN Allow Online-Only Publications to Become Members?

At a town hall meeting during AAN's Toronto Convention, members will discuss the possibility of allowing online-only publications to apply for AAN membership and give them a chance to prove they can pass the same rigorous screening that print publication applicants go through.

Such a change would require only a minor tweak in the organization’s bylaws, but it would nevertheless be a dramatic move for AAN.

AAN  |  06-18-2010  11:07 am  |  Association News  |  Comments (1)

Former L.A. Weekly Editors Launch New Literary Journalnew

Former L.A. Weekly editors Laurie Ochoa and Joe Donnelly are set to release the first issue of Los Angeles based quarterly journal Slake in early July, according to LA Observed. The full color publication will feature narrative journalism, fiction and poetry by several former L.A. Weekly writers, including current food columnist (and Ochoa's husband) Jonathan Gold. In addition, there are plans for a yet to be launched website that "will be one of the first websites designed from scratch to take advantage of the display capabilities of the iPad."

Donnelly left the Weekly in 2008 after his position was eliminated and Ochoa parted ways with the paper last year after holding the editor in chief position for eight years.
LA Observed  |  06-15-2010  4:22 pm  |  Industry News

Toronto Convention: Innovating in Hard Times

Costs have been cut. Page count is down. Morale could be better. How do we do more than survive? This is the focus of the annual convention in Toronto. The shakeup of the past two years has, in many ways, given alt-weeklies the chance of a lifetime -- an opportunity for rebirth and reinvention. This July, in one of the most beautiful cities in North America, industry leaders, big-picture thinkers and plenty of your smart peers will be explaining how to create a blueprint for financial success. You'll learn how to focus and rededicate your company to thrive for the next decades and longer. (FULL STORY)
AAN  |  06-14-2010  2:27 pm  |  Association News

FBI Hassles Seattle Weekly Photographernew

A Weekly photographer who was shooting on the public sidewalk outside a FBI building was confronted with a security guard and four federal agents when he was taking pictures for the paper's cover story this week. "It became pretty stressful -- they weren't interfering with the shoot by blocking us, but they kept asking us questions and at a certain point I said 'Well, I feel pretty intimidated, I think we're done here,'" Steven Miller says.
Seattle Weekly  |  06-11-2010  2:26 pm  |  Industry News

Creative Loafing (Atlanta) Undergoes Head-to-Toe Redesignnew

This week the paper debuted its drastically redesigned print publication and also rolled out changes to its website. Editor-in-chief Mara Shalhoup says the process began about nine months ago, with questions like "What if we turned the paper into the type of publication that existed only in our imaginations?" and "What was to stop us from rethinking ... everything?" The print overhaul was led by newspaper designer/art director Ron Reason, who goes into detail about the process and the thinking behind a number of decisions in a blog post.
Creative Loafing (Atlanta)  |  06-11-2010  2:15 pm  |  Industry News

Who is the Audience of the Alt-Weekly These Days?

When you have a president who not only admits he inhaled but confesses to having used cocaine, it’s time to redefine "alternative," according to Henry Scott. At the Toronto Convention, the newly named publisher of Creative Loafing (Atlanta) and chief marketing officer of all six Creative Loafing papers will discuss what the company is doing to redefine the traditional "alt-weekly" and make it meaningful to an audience that would rather be well employed and raise a family than drop out of society and rebel.

Scott -- a self-professed member of the Woodstock Generation -- says he had long ago quit reading alt-weeklies because he found them irrelevant. He says market research he did at previous jobs at the New York Times and Metro New York showed him that most young people agreed. So he and his Creative Loafing team have rethought their approach, using easily available market research and staff coaching. In Toronto, he'll talk about how they are doing and he'll detail both the research and business aspects of the strategy.
AAN  |  06-08-2010  12:24 pm  |  Association News

Tom Tomorrow Gets Gold Record for Work on Pearl Jam's 'Backspacer'new

The cartoonist behind "This Modern World" was tapped by Pearl Jam to create the cover for the band's most recent album, Backspacer. Now it has gone gold after selling a half-million units, and the band thanked Tomorrow (aka Dan Perkins) with a framed gold record. "I had no idea they were going to pull me up on stage last week in Hartford, and I had no idea this was in the works. It was an incredibly thoughtful gesture on their part, and I was as moved as you might imagine," Perkins says. "And now I have a gold record, with my name on the plaque and everything -- how cool is that?"
The Washington Post  |  06-04-2010  9:17 am  |  Industry News