AAN Member Benefits

The Association of Alternative Newsmedia is a nonprofit organization representing more than 100 alternative publications and their multi-platform businesses in the United States and Canada. When you become a member of AAN, you join the most well-informed and well-connected community for the independent news industry.

AAN focuses on areas that impact our members the most: influencing public policy, helping the member news organizations grow revenue and audience, and communicating to external constituencies the story of our changing industry. We understand that the new realities of the media industry, and we want to accelerate our members’ success and ensure their vitality.

The benefits of membership are many – AAN offers strategy and skill-building workshops, a content exchange system and group rates on liability coverage and circulation audits. There is great power in a united coalition with common goals, and AAN represents the interests of alternative publications through partnerships with companies that support our members missions and day-to-day operations. AAN members can also take advantage of free or group-rate services for classified ads, job boards and touchscreen publishing. Most importantly, AAN members support one another by sharing ideas and solutions to problems many alternative media outlets face.

AAN’s member publications are instinctive experimenters – they’ve made their names as agile trendsetters, ready to jump on new ideas in business. And, they enjoy a reputation of independent,
thoughtful voices within our communities. Our association and members combination ethos is – edgy and forward-thinking, community and local committed, but digitally savvy and business minded.

AAN helps grow your business and your brand

At AAN, we know that smart, profitable business development is a necessity for alt weeklies, especially as industry needs have shifted from print-only to a multifaceted approach that includes print, digital, live events, and mobile.

AAN provides solutions and makes agreements with vendors to take advantage of our size and scale. We have a national reach with a local touch, thanks to a membership of alt-weekly organizations across the U.S. and Canada. We craft flexible media packages that work for both our members and our advertisers.

AAN protects your interests in Washington

AAN serves as a powerful collective voice on the industry’s behalf in Washington, fighting for – or against– legislation and regulations that affect how you do business. We provide government agencies and Congress with a sophisticated, contemporary view of the media landscape to help inform debate and decisions on a range of issues.

AAN helps you grow as a leader

The association provides strategies and tools to fortify leadership and our members’ futures. We focus on training for leadership succession and transition success, talent management strategies, performance improvement practices and people problem solutions. We provide consultation on other issues on an as needed basis.

AAN tells your story

AAN maintains a dialogue with our industry’s key audiences. We regularly communicate the alternative newsmedia history, current trends and value story to advertisers, agencies, the local business and trade media, and consumers.

AAN understands the need for fresh editorial thinking to engage new audiences and expand brand impact, focusing on beneficial partnerships and expanding influence on community development,
commerce and discourse.

AAN is a fantastic resource

The association serves as an ongoing resource for the robust exchange of information and ideas through the following resources:

AAN Email Groups – Conversations and tips from hundreds of your colleagues across North America. We run an active listserv.

Legal Hotline – AAN has teamed up with Reporters Committee for the Free Press, who provide a free legal defense and FOIA hotline to AAN members.
To contact the RCFP lawyers, call 1-800-336-4243 or go to rcfp.org/hotline
They can answer you questions about public records laws and requests, access to public meetings and courts, electronic surveillance, and other news-gathering rights and questions. Example questions include: “Can I trespass on private property if I’m covering a story?”, “A city council member told me their next meeting is closed. Can they do that?”, “I’ve been subpoenaed to testify in court. What do I do?”.

Indie Ads Network – AAN’s network attracts advertising from national political advocacy groups.

Events – We organize a number of different events to allow our members to network and get the training they need, including our annual convention and a leadership conference specifically tailored for publishers and senior managers.