Association of Alternative Newsweeklies
rcooper (at) aan.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 13, 2007 — In recognition of Molly Ivins’ hard-hitting investigations as co-editor of The Texas Observer from 1970 to 1976, as well as her subsequent work as a no-holds-barred syndicated columnist, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN.org) announced today that it will name an annual First Amendment Award in her honor. The award, which will be bestowed every year at the association’s annual convention, will be given to a North American journalist whose work best embodies the spirit of Ivins’ legacy.
“Editors and publishers at alternative newspapers have always considered Molly Ivins ‘one of us’,” noted Kenneth Neill, publisher of The Memphis Flyer and current AAN President. “She got her basic training at one of our member newspapers, and when she left she continued to speak truth to power with wit and style. Her work speaks for itself, and speaks volumes about how much difference one courageous journalist can make.”
The winner of the Molly Ivins Award will be selected by AAN members in a process that will take approximately six weeks. The first-ever recipient of the honor will be announced May 1, and the award will be presented at the association’s annual convention, which will be held June 14-16, 2007 in Portland, Ore.
As daily-newspaper readership continues to decline, as radio and television audiences become progressively more fragmented, as competition for the 18- to 39-year-old demographic soars in an already cluttered marketplace, alternative newsweeklies continue to engage young, active, educated and influential readers.
Since its founding in 1978, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies has grown to include 125 free-circulation weekly newspapers throughout North America. More than 21 million readers in markets as diverse as Memphis and Montreal, Pittsburgh and Pasadena, Chicago and Charlotte, rely weekly on their local alternative weekly. For more information about AAN, go to www.aan.org.