Register for the 2017 Association of Alternative Newsmedia Convention

Registration is now open for the 2017 AAN Convention in Washington D.C., the alternative news industry’s largest gathering of the year. Alt news professionals from across the U.S. and Canada will come together to share success stories and camaraderie.

This year’s convention will take place at The Dupont Circle Hotel, located on Dupont Circle in the heart of Washington D.C. and just moments from the city’s historic sights including the National Mall and the Smithsonian Museums.

Host paper Washington City Paper is excited to welcome its colleagues from across AAN and is plotting plenty of D.C.-exclusive mayhem, including receptions at the Embassy of Haiti and the Kennedy Caucus Room on Capitol Hill.

The member early registration rate is $399/person until June 16, after which the rate will go up to $445/person. If you are bringing more than 3 staffers from a single publication, contact Molly Snead at for info on how to get the $100 rate for additional registrants.

The AAN group rate at the Dupont Circle Hotel is $169/night for a King room or Queen-Queen room (based on availability). The deadline to book at the group rate is July 5. Book your room at, using Room Block Code ASSO200617. Click the “More Options” tab on the booking page to reveal the option to add a Room Block Code.

“We’re thrilled to host this year’s convention in AAN’s hometown,” said AAN Executive Director Jason Zaragoza. “This is the perfect moment for AAN to bring its brand of truth-telling and rabble-rousing to D.C.”

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What are alternative newspapers?

An alternative newspaper is a type of newspaper that eschews comprehensive coverage of general news in favor of stylized reporting, opinionated reviews and columnsinvestigations into edgy topics and magazine-style feature stories highlighting local people and culture. Its news coverage is more locally focused and their target audiences younger than those of daily newspapers. Typically, alternative newspapers are published in tabloid format and printed on newsprint. Other names for such publications include alternative weeklyalternative newsweekly, and alt weekly, as the majority circulate on a weekly schedule.

Most metropolitan areas of the United States and Canada are home to at least one alternative paper. These papers are generally found in such urban areas, although a few publish in smaller cities, in rural areas or exurban areas where they may be referred to as an alt monthly due to the less frequent publication schedule.

Alternative papers usually operate under a different business model than daily papers.[citation needed] Most alternative papers, such as The Stranger, the Houston PressSF Weekly, the Village Voice, the New York Press, the Metro Times, the LA Weekly, the Boise Weekly, and the Long Island Press, are free, earning revenue through the sale of advertising space. They sometimes include ads for adult entertainment, such as adult bookstores and strip clubs, which are prohibited in many mainstream daily newspapers.[citation needed] They usually include comprehensive classified and personal ad sections and event listings as well.[citation needed]

Many alternative papers feature an annual “best of” issue, profiling businesses that readers voted the best of their type in the area. Often these papers send out certificates that the businesses hang on their wall or window. This further cements the paper’s ties to local businesses.

Alternative newspapers represent the more commercialized and mainstream evolution of the underground press associated with the 1960s counterculture. Their focus remains on arts and entertainment and social and political reportage. Editorial positions at alternative weeklies are predominantly left-leaning, though there is a contingent of conservative, and libertarian, alt-weeklies. Styles vary sharply among alternative newspapers; some affect a satirical, ironic tone, while others embrace a more straightforward approach to reporting.

Columns commonly syndicated to alternative weeklies include “The Straight Dope,” Dan Savage‘s “Savage Love,” Rob Breszny’s “Free Will Astrology,” and Ben Tausig‘s crossword puzzle “Ink Well.” Quirky, non-mainstream comics, such as Matt Groening‘s Life in HellLynda Barry‘s Ernie Pook’s ComeekRuben Bolling‘s Tom the Dancing Bug, and Ted Rall‘s political cartoons are also common.

The Village Voice, based in New York City, is one of the first and best-known examples of the form.

The Association of Alternative Newsmedia is the alternative weeklies’ trade association. The Alternative Weekly Network and the Ruxton Group are national advertising sales representatives for alternative weeklies.

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