AAN News

Richard Karpel, Erik Wemple Talk About Alt-Media's 'Economic Woes'new

AAN's executive director and Washington City Paper's editor joined the Project for Excellence in Journalism's Mark Jurkowitz and former Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff on a D.C. public-radio show yesterday for a wide-ranging discussion about how the digital transformation, changing demographics and the recession are affecting alternative media.
WAMU-FM  |  11-20-2009  12:12 pm  |  Industry News

AAN Begins Search for New Executive Director

As we announced on Monday, AAN's longtime executive director, Richard Karpel, is stepping down to take the same position at the American Society of News Editors. AAN has placed ads to find his successor on four websites and has received more than 20 applications thus far. The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors will do an initial screening of the candidates later this month; after this is complete, President Mark Zusman will appoint a separate committee that will likely meet and interview the finalists and make a recommendation to the Board of Directors. (FULL STORY)
AAN  |  10-30-2009  9:24 am  |  Association News

AAN's Executive Director Stepping Down

Richard Karpel, who joined the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies as its executive director in July 1995, is leaving AAN for the same position at the American Society of News Editors. His last day will be Nov. 25, although he has agreed to help the association in an unofficial capacity after that date to assist in the transition to a new staff chief executive. "I have been at AAN for the better part of my adult life, and it has been an incredible ride," he says. "I want to thank all of the AAN members past and present who have made my time here such a rich and rewarding experience." MORE: Here's ASNE's announcement. (FULL STORY)
AAN  |  10-26-2009  1:14 pm  |  Association News

Recession Brings Both Clouds and Silver Linings to New Haven Advocatenew

That's what the Yale Daily News finds in a report on how three local news organizations are faring in the downturn. While the Advocate's "circulation is steady," as managing editor John Stoehr points out, publisher Joshua Mamis admits that the paper's page count has decreased. Mamis also notes that although the paper has lost some national advertisers, many local advertisers have remained loyal.
Yale Daily News  |  10-16-2009  12:04 pm  |  Industry News

AAN Corrects Sen. Bernie Sanders on Comments About Alt-Weeklies

In his announcement yesterday about starting his own weekly internet TV show, the independent U.S. Senator from Vermont bemoaned media consolidation. Unfortunately, he also unfairly characterized alt-weeklies, claiming they "have been bought by a monopoly franchise and made a predictable shift to the right in their coverage of local news." In a letter responding to the Senator's claim, AAN president Mark Zusman and executive director Richard Karpel set the record straight, noting the absurdity of calling any alt-weekly a "monopoly franchise" and stating that "alternative newspapers across North America are still often among the few publications in their communities that consistently offer a progressive viewpoint on issues like poverty, racism, health-care reform and environmental sustainability." (FULL STORY)
Mark Zusman  |  08-11-2009  3:12 pm  |  Industry News  |  Comments (1)

AAN's Executive Director Lets The New Yorker Know We're Herenew

In a letter published in this week's New Yorker, Richard Karpel tells the magazine that Louis Menand was bizarrely off the mark when he claimed in his recent story on The Village Voice that "after 1970, the alternative press died out" when "mainstream publications moved into the field." Karpel writes: "The progenitors of the alternative press ... were founded by trailblazers so far out of the mainstream that forty years later even a scrupulous publication like The New Yorker seems to have forgotten that they exist," MORE: Texas Observer managing editor Brad Tyer weighs in on Menand's piece on his blog.
The New Yorker  |  01-21-2009  12:03 pm  |  Industry News

Critic Pans Alt-Weekly Convention Coverage; Alts Fight Backnew

Columbia Journalism Review assistant editor Jane Kim claims in a blog post that "one thing that was sorely lacking from the past two weeks of convention spotlighting was good alt weekly coverage." She then uses a couple of blog features from convention host-city papers Westword and City Pages to prove the "sad results" of "consolidation of the alt weeklies under VVM." In the comments section, Westword editor Patricia Calhoun argues that staff cartoonist Kenny Be, whose "Delegating Denver" series provided grist for Kim's critique, is "the town's best political columnist," adding that "to quote lines without the context of the artwork is hardly fair" when criticizing a cartoon. AAN executive director Richard Karpel, meanwhile, points out that both papers broke significant convention-related news prior to the conventions, and that several dozen other alt-weeklies had folks on the ground during the confabs. "It seems clear from the tone of this piece that Kim went in with a set of preconceived ideas -- the all-too-easy meme that corporate ownership leads to homogenization -- and wasn't going to let the facts get in her way at 4:42 p.m. on a Friday," City Pages' editor-in-chief Kevin Hoffman adds. Lastly, Village Voice Media executive associate editor Andy Van De Voorde takes Kim to task for "focusing on 'the various shades of Banana Republic grey' worn by the Palins" in her own work during the conventions, while City Pages reporters were arrested, roughed up, and pepper-sprayed as "a direct result of their decision to actually go out and cover news."
Columbia Journalism Review  |  09-09-2008  9:10 am  |  Industry News  |  Comments (1)

Welcome to Our New Home Page

AAN's executive director describes some of the changes and explains why they were made. (FULL STORY)
Richard Karpel  |  11-13-2006  1:36 pm  |  Association News

Panel Discussion on Alt-Weeklies Available Online

The Project for Excellence in Journalism recently posted comments about the future of alternative newspapers submitted by Richard Karpel, executive director of AAN; Matt Gibson, publisher of The Missoula Independent; Julia Goldberg, editor of the Santa Fe Reporter; and Alison True, editor of the Chicago Reader. The discussion is one of nine that were conducted via e-mail to supplement PEJ's report, The State of the News Media 2006, which was issued earlier this year. The four panelists share their thoughts on the New Times/Village Voice Media merger, the aging of the alt-weekly audience and the long-term outlook for mainstream-media organizations.
08-28-2006  9:37 am  |  Industry News

AAN Experiments With Dual Home Pages

In an effort to increase traffic to AltWeeklies.com, and thus to member papers' Web sites, AAN modified the story-sharing Web site today to display two slightly different versions of the home page for different audiences. AAN members who are logged in will still be greeted by a home page featuring every story posted on the site, while the general public will only see content that has been selected with the general user in mind. In addition, AAN is running AltWeeklies.com ads on blogs and at the South by Southwest Festival. (FULL STORY)
Jon Whiten  |  03-08-2006  4:26 pm  |  Association News

AAN Executive Director's Letter to Editor & Publisher

Richard Karpel's response to a column questioning the future of investigative journalism was posted today in the Letters section of Editor & Publisher's Web site. Karpel cited examples of recent investigative work by alt-weeklies and concluded, "Readers of dailies who can no longer find the investigative reporting they crave don't need to wait for NPR or Yahoo! to fund in-depth reporting. They can turn to the pages of their local alternative weeklies."
11-18-2005  11:15 am  |  Industry News

Executive Director's Board Report Now Available to Members

For several years, AAN staff head Richard Karpel has written a periodic report on association activities for the benefit of the organization's Board of Directors. At the Board's request, Karpel will now begin sharing the report with all AAN members who are interested in reading it. His latest report was posted yesterday in the new AAN Library. To download a copy, visit this page.
05-12-2005  12:40 pm  |  Industry News

AAN's Karpel Predicts Faux Alternatives Will Failnew

In an opinion piece published in Boulder Weekly, AAN executive director Richard Karpel recounts a phone interview he gave to The Daily Camera. The Boulder, Colo., daily is launching Dirt, a free weekday paper targeting 18- to 24-year-olds, and its reporter wanted a comment. Karpel obliged, explaining why Dirt, like any number of similar tabloids, would ultimately fail to reach young people: Daily papers tiptoe around potentially offensive language and subject matter; they're too "objective" for passion or point of view; and they're institutions far removed from the world most young people inhabit. The Camera chose to publish his one comment that tended to make the opposite point, so he lays out his full argument here.
Boulder Weekly  |  08-27-2004  12:17 pm  |  Industry News