Industry and Marketing Research. There is much to be learned from professional and trade associations.
AAN was founded as the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies in Seattle, Wash., in 1978. It began with 30 newspapers, including the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Creative Loafing, Phoenix New Times, Willamette Week and the Chicago Reader. In 2011, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies became the Association of Alternative Newsmedia to reflect its newly-adopted bylaws allowing digital-only members. While the name change was a practical move, philosophically it meant an industry-wide acceptance of the evolution that had been occurring in local markets at member papers across the country for several years. And, like the whole media industry, AAN papers are engaged in a huge pivot, one in which they are seeking to remake the business model in a way that supports our brand of journalism.