SOURCE: The Association of Alternative Newsmedia

May 17, 2012 16:40 ET

Alt-Media Heavyweights to Gather for 3-Day Conference on Innovation and Growth Opportunities

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - May 17, 2012) - More than 300 editors, publishers, editorial and sales staff from alternative publications from across the U.S. and Canada will gather in Detroit for the Association of Alternative Newsmedia's 35th annual convention, to be held Thursday, June 7 through Saturday, June 9. The convention is hosted by Metro Times, Detroit's source for arts, music and political coverage for over 30 years.

Continuing a long established tradition of innovative speakers offering fresh and frank perspectives on media, this year's convention will feature a welcome address from Matt Thompson, editorial product manager at NPR, and Grace Lee Boggs, noted lifelong social activist in Detroit.

Thompson, who is coordinating the development of 12 niche, local websites in conjunction with NPR member stations, will address how the alternative press, in the digital age, can use its irreverent, authentic and passionate style while retaining journalistic integrity and value.

Boggs will provide historical context on the city of Detroit and also discuss how cities like it are evolving and how our thoughts about them should evolve, too. Ethan Zuckerman, of Harvard's Berkman Center, will deliver the convention's keynote address, presenting data on media trends and criticisms. The convention's closing speaker will be Baratunde Thurston, comedian, best-selling author of How To Be Black and former director of digital for The Onion.

"The line-up of speakers we have this year is one of the most diverse out there," said Tiffany Shackelford, executive director of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN.) "Not only culturally, but in their experiences and what they can offer and what we can really learn from them."

With sessions such as "Business Writing Workshop," "Sexy Analytics," "How to Speak and Think Geek," and "Shake Your Moneymaker: Events that Kill It," AAN will offer the informative and exciting sessions they've become known for. This year's sessions include workshops offering the necessary tools for advancement in areas of management, editorial, sales, design, social media and monetization.

It's the same kind of forward thinking that led to AAN's recent awarding of scholarships to the development of the next generation of journalists and journalism managers in alternative newsmedia. These scholarships will also underwrite fees associated with attending the convention.

The association also awarded scholarship funding in an effort to introduce diversity into newsrooms. The AAN is dedicated to diversity and has made efforts to help educate on the process of inclusion within the alternative news industry with AAN's Diversity Committee recently releasing a 3-page compilation of best practices toward that goal.

"The board is fully committed to fostering personal development in future newsroom leaders as well as promoting diversity in our newsrooms and our businesses," said Fran Zankowski, president of the AAN Board of Directors and CEO of the Colorado Springs Independent. "Building a community that contains seasoned alt-weekly veterans as well as a diverse and well-trained new generation of leaders is vital to the survival of alternative press."

For more in-depth information and coverage on the convention, and to register, visit Early bird registration ends Friday, May 18th.

Contact Information