Jon Whiten has been hired by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies as editor for its Web site AltWeeklies.com, which features the best writing from the association’s 126 member papers and also acts as a location for member editors to buy and sell content. Whiten’s first day at AAN was Jan. 3.
“I have followed the alt-weekly industry for some time, so I am excited to be joining AAN,” Whiten says. He has been a freelance writer for the past four years, having reported on local politics and media for AAN member papers Boston’s Weekly Dig and the New York Press, in addition to publications like Extra!, Block Magazine and the Jersey Journal. He also served as an editorial intern for Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR).
Whiten’s hire will complete the changes in AAN staff responsibilities that followed from Editorial Director Ruth Hammond’s departure. News editor Amy Gill will assume Hammond’s role as administrator of the AltWeekly Awards contest.
“Jon has a really well-developed understanding of the role of alternative newspapers,” says Richard Karpel, executive director of AAN. “We’re excited to have him aboard.”
Whiten received a M.A. in media studies last May from New York University, where he researched alt-weeklies and free commuter dailies. He received a B.S. in advertising and sociology from Boston University in 2001.
Whiten was most recently an assistant editor at The Connection Newspapers, a chain of community weeklies in Virginia. He lives in D.C. with his girlfriend and their abnormally large cat.