A few years ago, threatened by media giant Gannett's attempt to control local print distribution via The Distribution Network (TDN), the Jackson Free Press and other local publishers banded together to form the Mississippi Independent Publishers' Alliance (MIPA). MIPA then began a process of buying, placing and managing its own system of multi-publication news boxes around the city. Now it looks like MIPA's efforts paid off. JFP publisher Todd Stauffer tells AAN News that the Gannett-owned Jackson Clarion-Ledger has quietly picked up all their TDN boxes and apparently closed out their program. "I'm not sure if this is a trend company-wide for Gannett, but it looks like the 'control-free-distribution' chapter is no longer in the Gannett playbook for Jackson," he says.

Continue ReadingGannett Quietly Closes Distribution Network in Jackson

Earlier this month, the alt-weekly launched a daily e-blast that will feature one full story along with listings and other timely content, like profiles of musicians or authors who have appearances that day. The Daily, which has the catchy slogan "Today's News...Today," will be published each day at 1 pm. "It's been twenty years since Jackson had an afternoon daily," publisher Todd Stauffer tells the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership (pdf). "We thought it would be interesting to revive that tradition, but starting from the ground up using 21st Century technology."

Continue ReadingJackson Free Press Launches ‘JFP Daily’

The confidential survey (click here for PDF copy) covers a broad range of topics, including financial info, web traffic, staffing, software, marketing, email newsletters, blogs and multimedia. It was emailed to AAN publishers today. The results will be compiled by AAN staff; Jackson Free Press' Todd Stauffer will analyze the results and present the findings in a closed session at the AAN Convention in Philadelphia. Only those papers that substantially complete the survey by the close-of-business on May 12 will receive a copy of the results and be allowed to attend Stauffer's presentation at the convention.

Continue ReadingAAN’s Inaugural Web Publishing Survey Sent Out Today

AAN members took home a fair share of the honors last week in the First Amendment Awards competition sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists' Fort Worth pro chapter, winning a combined three first places among eight print categories in the Texas-Oklahoma contest. Fort Worth Weekly took first place in the Reporting on Open Government and student categories, while the Houston Press finished first in the Defending the Disadvantaged category. The Weekly also won an additional second-place award, and the Press took one more second- and third-place finish.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weeklies Honored by Fort Worth SPJ Chapter

Lance Hammer's Ballast, which will compete with 15 other films in the Dramatic Competition at this year's festival, has a certain familiar alt-weekly publisher in its credits. The Jackson Free Press' Todd Stauffer was production manager for the film, which is described by Sundance as "a riveting, lyrical portrait of an emotionally frayed family whose lives are torn asunder by a tragic act in a small Mississippi Delta town."

Continue ReadingFilm Up for Sundance Grand Jury Award Has Alt-Weekly Ties