Executive editor Mike Lenehan (pictured) left Chicago Reader, Inc. on Aug. 30, and as a result he has stepped down from his position as Diversity Chair on the AAN Board of Directors. AAN president Stephen Leon appointed Jackson Free Press editor and current at-large board member Donna Ladd to serve the one year remaining in Lenehan's term as Diversity Chair, and appointed East Bay Express publisher Jody Colley to take Ladd's at-large seat for the one year remaining in her term. "I think I speak for everyone on the board in expressing our gratitude for Mike's service over the years," Leon says. "We're going to miss his dry wit, and also his common sense." Lenehan has served on the board since 2002 and was elected as the association's first Diversity Chair in 2004.
In today's citywide election, the Chicago Reader will "try a little experiment in citizen journalism" and have readers send in dispatches from the polls as election day unfolds, E&P reports. On Clout City, the paper's politics blog, Executive Editor Mike Lenehan tells readers: "Keep your eyes and ears open, ask questions if you need to, carry your camera or picture phone, and e-mail your anecdotes and photos." The best of this user-generated content will be posted on Clout City, along with reports from the Reader's regular bloggers. While Lenehan promises that editors "will be manning the inbox...until 8 pm at least, longer if it gets interesting," E&P says the biggest race will likely be a snoozer. "Mayor Richard M. Daley looks to be a shoo-in," E&P writes, before noting there are a few "spirited aldermanic elections" to watch.
Erin Sullivan (pictured), managing editor of Baltimore City Paper, is running for the membership chair position being vacated by Seven Days' Paula Routly, one of several spots on the AAN board that are up for grabs this year. Voting will take place on Saturday, June 17, during the annual meeting on the final day of the convention in Little Rock. AAN News put together this voting guide to help members get acquainted with the candidates.
Most of the ads cited in the fair-housing lawsuit recently filed against the free-classifieds juggernaut "would not strike an ordinary person as discriminatory," says Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster. Nevertheless, newspapers have lived with the "persnickety" Fair Housing Act for many years now, writes the Chicago Reader's Michael Miner after hearing from several AAN classified directors who vigilantly scour their housing ads to ensure compliance. But that doesn't mean alt-weeklies should be thrilled by the suit. "We have two dogs in this fight," says Chicago Reader Executive Editor Mike Lenehan. "(W)e shouldn't be too eager for them to lose this suit, because we're all in the online business too."
The Reader's Executive Editor, Michael Lenehan, penned a Swiftian proposal for a "Year Without Journalism" in the Dec. 30 issue (available here as a PDF). Lenehan wrote, "With no news to aggregate, no facts to ruminate, the algorithms and the bedroom pundits will turn on each other like mirrors, producing a perfect regression of narcissistic self-reflection, repeating endlessly." The story immediately became an object of insult among offended bloggers such as Rambling Rhodes and Wonkette, who was mentioned in Lenehan's piece. Lenehan says, "Did it get the reaction I hoped for? Of course not. The reaction I hoped for -- the reaction I always hope for -- is widespread and universal acclaim. Instead I received kind words from all the old-school journalists I heard from and vilification from almost every blogger who read the piece -- and, of course, from many bloggers who saw it blogged somewhere else and didn't bother to read it. I was surprised by how literal and humorless the bloggers are. I guess they like to think they are being attacked by print journalists, it reassures them that they are effectual."