The websites represented by the cooperative now represent 8.735 million unique visitors monthly, AWN says in a release. That's an increase of roughly 200 percent over last year. AWN now handles national sales for 91 AAN member websites, as well as the sites for many non-AAN newsweeklies and magazines. "It's nice to see this kind of growth in our network, whether it's from increased visitors on alt-weekly sites, or by adding additional sites to our cooperative network," executive director Mark Hanzlik says. "Either way, we're now making an impressive imprint in the digital world, and can now take our product to market more effectively."
In a Q&A with the Tales from the Reading Room blog, Mark Athitakis discusses the future of arts journalism, the changes afoot in the alt-weekly industry, and argues that print folks must embrace the web to survive. "I think journalists need to rethink what 'publishing' is and experiment more with video, audio, blogging, and social networking tools," he says. "You have to rethink it in part because the next generation of readers embrace all of those things, and it's folly to dig in your heels, stick with print, and say you're not interested in reaching those people, or say that everybody has to process your ideas on your terms."
Mark Donald has been involved with the Observer on and off for more than ten years, including stints as associate editor and staff writer. Since leaving the paper in 2004, he has worked at Texas Lawyer and D magazine. He begins in mid-January, following the departure of Julie Lyons, who is stepping down to write a book based on her Bible Girl columns.
Stephen Leon (pictured), the editor and publisher of Metroland in Albany, N.Y., was elected President on Saturday during the association's annual meeting. Willamette Week editor Mark Zusman was elected Vice President, making him the heir apparent to the presidency. Six of the nine remaining board seats were filled by incumbents running unopposed.
Willamette Week Editor Mark Zusman tells the American Journalism Review this month that his reporters are taken seriously by the people and institutions they cover because "we have for 30 years now been publishing stories that have resulted in people getting put behind bars, or getting laws changed, or good people getting recognized, or justice prevailing." Zusman's interview appears in "The Pulitzer Cartel," an article in the October/November issue of AJR in which the magazine's Donna Shaw explores why four newspapers -- The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal -- "have dramatically increased their share of Pulitzer largesse over the years." Writes Shaw: "Some Pulitzer-watchers believe that favoritism and politics play a role in the dominance of the big papers." But Zusman, whose paper won a 2005 Pulitzer for investigative reporting, disagrees: "The New York Times does extraordinarily good journalism and that's why they win... That's why the Washington Post wins."
Fefer previously worked at the Weekly from 1995 to 2004: He was a staff writer until he was promoted to arts and culture editor in 2002. He has spent the last two years in New York City, most recently working as an editor for Bloomberg News. His first day will be Oct. 3, Village Voice Media announced in a press release Monday.
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.