Membership Committee Recommends Two Papers for Admission to AAN

may 29, 2008  09:34 am
Hey, AAN editors and publishers, the Membership Committee has a message for you: Your vote counts.

We've done the hard part already. Over the past several months our nine-person committee, comprising editors and publishers from a diverse cross-section of AAN papers (large and small, independent and chain-owned), diligently read, re-read, analyzed, and evaluated the 12 papers that applied for membership in the organization this year, as well as five papers whose membership must be reviewed as a result of recent changes in ownership. We evaluated them carefully and exhaustively, looking for competent local news and features reporting, critical food and arts reviews, comprehensive listings, and thoughtful design. We rated, raved, and ranted, and in the end we came up with a list of recommendations to help you make an informed decision about each paper's fate. Because, even though the Membership Committee does the heavy lifting, it's ultimately up to the membership to vote these papers in or out.

The committee now also has responsibility for considering the ownership of each applying paper, to ensure that it reflects and advances certain core values of the association enumerated in Article 1, Section 6 of AAN's bylaws, including the following:
  • Competitive editorial and business environment, especially within local markets
  • A multiplicity and diversity of media voices
  • Independence from media conglomerates or other entities deemed detrimental to the interest of the alternative press and the maintenance of media diversity.

This year the Membership Committee recommends two papers for admission to AAN: City Pulse from Lansing, Mich., and Hawaii Island Journal from Hilo, Hawaii. The committee also recommends that the five papers that have changed ownership recently be re-affirmed as members of the organization. Those papers are: Metro Pulse, Knoxville, Tenn.; The Other Paper, Columbus, Ohio; Cityview, Des Moines, Iowa; East Bay Express, Emoryville, Calif.; and Weekly Dig, Boston, Mass.

The tireless Membership Committee members who participated in this year's deliberations were: Kyle Shaw (The Coast), Julia Goldberg (Santa Fe Reporter), Clif Garboden (Boston Phoenix), Erin Sullivan (Baltimore City Paper), Sioux Watson (The Independent), Margaret Downing (Houston Press), Fran Zankowski (Colorado Springs Independent), Tim Redmond (San Francisco Bay Guardian) and Stephen Leon (Metroland).

The Membership Committee's complete report is available in the Resource Library, along with a document featuring ownership reports on each of the applying papers and the papers up for review. The reports will also be available in printed form during the annual conference in Philadelphia. Copies of the applying papers may also be available for members to review at the conference.

Now, it's up to you: Show up to the Annual Meeting on Saturday, June 7, and vote on each of the applicants. Or, if you can't be present in Philadelphia, be sure to assign your proxy to another member.

There are no caucuses, no super delegates, and no creepy electronic voting machines -- just come to the meeting, collect your ballots, and cast your votes.