L.A. Press Club Panel on the Alternative Press

LOS ANGELES (February 25, 2003) — Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, who plans to launch a new alternative weekly in June called the Los Angeles Examiner, will be part of a panel discussion on the alternative press hosted by the L.A. Press Club on Tuesday evening, March 11, it was announced by the club’s President Ted Johnson.

Riordan is expected to discuss plans for the new publication, which recently showed a prototype and talk about how he and his editors are going about assembling a staff.

Joining Riordan on the panel will be Richard Karpel, Executive Director of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN); Joe Donnelly, former arts editor of New Times L.A. who is now deputy editor of the L.A. Weekly; Sharon McKenna, a former senior editor at MSNBC who until recently was Editor of the Ventura County Reporter; and Will Swaim, Associate Publisher and since 1995, Editor of the Orange County Weekly.

The discussion will be co-moderated by syndicated columnist Jill Stewart, formerly of New Times L.A., and investigative reporter Michael Collins. The first in a series on the state of the region’s media called “Pressing The Issue,” It is being produced by Johnson, a reporter for TV Guide, and Alex Ben Block, editor of Electronic Media.

Johnson explained that future discussions will focus on other kinds of alternative print publications, large dailies, local TV news, regional magazines, the trade press and other areas. “We are doing this because of pressing issues in journalism, especially in Los Angeles,” said Johnson. “In recent months we’ve seen the closing of a major newsweekly, a federal investigation and settlement, and the prospect of one or more entirely new weeklies. This is a way to help our members and fellow journalists understand what is happening in a rapidly changing media environment.”

Stewart now writes a column called “Capitol Punishment” which skewers the power elite in California. It is published by a number of weeklies and websites statewide, including the Pasadena Weekly and San Diego Citybeat. She is also a regular guest host on KFI-AM, and recently appeared on the pilot for the new Jesse Ventura talk show.

Collins is an award-winning investigative journalist for Pivot Productions, whose outlets include the L.A. Weekly, L.A. Magazine and the Ventura County Reporter.

Karpel, who is coming from Washington, D.C. to be on the panel, has been with AAN since July 1995, and before that spent nine years with the Video Software Dealers Association and the National Association of Recording Merchandisers. “‘Alternative‚’ in the context of the alternative newsweekly industry means that our papers provide an alternative voice to that of the mainstream media,” Karpel said recently. “It does not mean the owners operate in an alternative economic universe.”

WHERE: L.A. Press Club, 6363 Sunset Blvd., Suite 530, Hollywood, CA. 90028
WHEN: Tuesday, March 11. Reception begins at 6:30 p.m. Program 7:30 p.m. ADMISSION: $15 per person for L.A. Press Club members, and affiliates, and $25 for non-members. Join the L.A. Press Club that evening for complimentary admission. RSVP to (323) 469-8180 or Email info@lapressclub.org, and specify event.

PRESS CONTACT: DIANA LJUNGAEUS, Executive Director, L.A. Press Club (323) 469-8180. WEB SITE: www.lapressclub.org SOURCE: Los Angeles Press Club