PEJ: 2009 Was a 'Difficult' Year for Alt-Weeklies

march 15, 2010  10:44 am
In its annual State of the News Media report, the Project for Excellence in Journalism notes that the combined circulation of AAN member papers dropped by nearly 7 percent in 2009, adding to the 5 percent drop in 2008. But the report points out that many small-market papers grew circulation in 2009, and that alts, like other newspapers, are increasingly moving to digital platforms. Village Voice editor Tony Ortega tells PEJ that alt-weeklies are coming out of the downturn in better shape than dailies, due to a more flexible business model and the fact that alts have always been free. "There's no doubt that the economy was just as hard on alternative weeklies as it was on the dailies," he says. "But it's also obvious that some alt-weeklies have come through the tough times in better shape than others."