AAN Presents First Annual Molly Ivins Award to Keith Olbermann

Roxanne Cooper
Association of Alternative Newsweeklies
rcooper (at) aan.org

New York, NY, May 9, 2007 — The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN) announced today that MSNBC news anchor Keith Olbermann is the winner of its first annual Molly Ivins Award. Olbermann’s achievement will be recognized in a ceremony to be held this afternoon in New York City.

The award was recently named in honor of Ms. Ivins, who served as co-editor of AAN member Texas Observer early in her muckraking career, and who died of breast cancer on January 31, at the age of 62. It is intended to recognize a journalist or media figure whose reporting or commentary has had a profound impact on the public’s understanding of vital national issues, and whose work embodies the spirit of Ivins’ courageous legacy.

“Describing her own style of writing, Molly Ivins once wrote, ‘Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful.’ That’s the sort of journalism we recognize today, that which holds those in power accountable in the court of public opinion,” said AAN President and Memphis Flyer publisher Kenneth Neill. “Keith Olbermann speaks truth to power with wit and style, just as Molly did.”

“I’m utterly honored,” said Olbermann, “largely because I’d still like to be Molly Ivins when I grow up.”

Olbermann’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann is MSNBC’s highest-rated program. The show is notable for its literate writing, fast-paced delivery, historical and pop-culture references and the host’s signature wit, all of which make Countdown one of the most vital and colorful newscasts on the air.

To recognize Olbermann’s achievement, AAN will donate $2,000 in his name to the Molly Ivins Fund for Investigative Reporting at the Texas Observer. Ms. Ivins remained a passionate supporter of the non-profit bi-weekly newsmagazine until her passing.

About AAN
The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN) is a diverse group of 125 alt-weekly news organizations that cover every major metropolitan area in North America. Members of AAN reach a print and online audience of more than 25 million young, educated, active and influential adults in the U.S. and Canada. For more information about AAN, go to www.aan.org.