Ten papers have applied for membership to the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies this year, supporting their qualifications with claims that they gore sacred cows and tackle stories the dailies are too scared or dumb to approach.
The applicants include a weekly in North Dakota, one of a handful of states that presently has no AAN paper. The High Plains Reader, published in Fargo, also applied in 2002, when the admissions committee was closely divided about whether it met AAN standards. Two other applicants this year, The Source Weekly of Bend, Ore., and The Independent Sun of Pensacola, Fla., also applied unsuccessfully in 2002.
Three of this year’s applicants are in cities where an AAN paper already exists. They are LA Alternative Press and Los Angeles CityBEAT, both in Los Angeles, and Pulse of the Twin Cities, in Minneapolis, Minn. Los Angeles CityBEAT is co-owned by David Comden, group publisher of San Diego CityBEAT, Pasadena Weekly and Ventura County Reporter.
For the next few months, members of the Admissions Committee chaired by The Memphis Flyer Publisher Kenneth Neill will score the contenders based on a list of criteria, recording the results on a worksheet.
After reviewing the papers and the Admissions Committee recommendations, AAN members will vote on which to accept as members on Sunday, June 27, at the association’s Annual Meeting. This takes place on the last day of the 27th annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.
These are the 10 papers that applied for admission this year:
—The Bellingham Weekly (Bellingham, Wash.)
—Fayetteville Free Weekly (Fayetteville, Ark.)
—Hawaii Island Journal (Captain Cook, Hawaii)
—High Plains Reader (Fargo, N.D.)
—The Independent Sun (Pensacola, Fla.)
—LA Alternative Press (Los Angeles)
—Los Angeles CityBEAT
—Pulse of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis, Minn.)
—Rocky Mountain Bullhorn (Fort Collins, Colo.)
—The Source Weekly (Bend, Ore.)