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Type of site
Progressive news website
Owner Alternet Media, Inc., John K. Byrne, Michael Rogers
Created by Independent Media Institute
Editor Roxanne Cooper
Alexa rank Increase 6,058 (March 2017)[1]
Commercial No
Registration Optional
Launched June 16, 1997; 21 years ago (1997-06-16)[2][3][4]
Current status Active

AlterNet is a progressive news magazine owned by AlterNet Media, Inc.[5] Launched in 1998, the web ratings service Quantcast estimates that it receives 1.5 million monthly visitors reading 6.7 million page views.[6]

AlterNet publishes original content as well as journalism from a wide variety of other sources. AlterNet states that its mission is to "inspire citizen action and advocacy on the environment, human rights and civil liberties, social justice, media, and health care issues".[7] AlterNet's tagline is "The Mix is the Message."


Coverage is divided into several special sections related to progressive news and culture, including News & Politics, World, Economy, Civil Liberties, Immigration, Reproductive Justice, Economy, Environment, Animal Rights, Food, Water, Books, Media and Culture, Belief, Drugs, Personal Health, Sex and Relationships, Vision, and Investigations.[8]

AlterNet publishes original content and also makes use of "alternative media", sourcing columns from Salon, Common Dreams, The Guardian, Consortiumnews, Truthdig, Truthout, TomDispatch, The Washington Spectator, Al Jazeera English, Center for Public Integrity, Democracy Now!, Waging Nonviolence, Asia Times, New America Media and Mother Jones.


AlterNet is financed through individual donations, by grants from major donors, and ad revenue.[9] In 2014, the top financial backers of the Independent Media Institute were Cloud Mountain Foundation, Craigslist Charitable Fund, Drug Policy Alliance, Madison Community Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, New World Foundation, Panta Rhea Foundation, Park Foundation and Roseben Fund.[10]

Institute for Alternative Journalism[edit]

AlterNet was founded in the fall of 1987 by the Institute for Alternative Journalism (IAJ),[11] which was incorporated in December 1983 with a mission to serve as a clearinghouse for important local stories generated by the members of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN). The founding editor of AlterNet was Alan Green, who with his deputy, Margaret Engle, created print and electronic mechanisms to syndicate both the works of AAN papers and freelance contributors, among them Michael Moore and Abbie Hoffman. Engle took over for Green in 1989 and ran the news service until 1993, in that time dramatically expanding AlterNet's base of contributors and client newspapers. Upon her resignation, Engle was succeeded by Don Hazen, who had been hired by IAJ in 1991 to be its first executive director. AlterNet publishes a combination of policy critiques, investigative reports and analysis, grassroots success stories, and personal narratives. Its coverage emphasizes the discovery of solutions to social problems, and its editorial philosophy is "to uphold a commitment to fairness, equality, and global stewardship, while making connections across generational, ethnic, and issue lines".[7]

Christine Triano was associate director of the Institute for Alternative Journalism, in 1996.[12][13]

Independent Media Institute[14][15] (IMI) now calls itself National Center for Independent Media.[16][17][13][18][19]

Media Heroes are annual awards by the Institute for Alternative Journalism.[8] Frederick Clarkson was named among the "Media Heroes of 1992"[20] James Danky was named a Media Hero in 1993.[21] In 1995, Media Heroes awards to Public Media Center, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, Institute for Global Communications, Janine Jackson, Laura Flanders,[22] CounterSpin, Gary Delgado, David Barsamian, Alternative Radio, Haiti Truth Team, Salim Muwakkil, John Schwartz, and Artists for a Hate Free America were presented in MediaCulture Review, January/February 1995[23] In 1996, Leslie Savan was named one of "The Top Ten Media Heroes".[24] Patricia Scott, and Julie Drizin were named to the "Top Ten Media Heroes of 1996"[25] Paul Klite, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Media Watch, received a Media Hero Award from the Institute for Alternative Journalism in 1996.[26] Amy Goodman, Bob Herbert, Detroit Sunday Journal, Gary Webb, Herb Schiller, Jim Ridgeway, Karl Grossman, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Norman Solomon, and Urvashi Vaid received the 1997 Media Hero Award.[27] In 1997, Media Heroes awards were presented at the second Media & Democracy Congress.[8] The Institute for Alternative Journalism named David Barsamian one of its Top Ten Media Heroes.[28]

Don Hazen[edit]

Don Hazen[29][30][31] was hired by San Francisco's[17][32] Institute for Alternative Journalism in 1991 was its first executive director. The AlterNet editorial staff was headed by executive editor Don Hazen,[33][34][35] a former publisher of Mother Jones, until December 2017 when he was placed on indefinite leave by the organization's oversight board due to sexual harassment allegations.[36][9][37] Hazen resigned following the allegations on December 22, 2017.[38][39] An episode of the This American Life, Five Women,[40] accounts sexual harassment in the workplace by Don Hazen, the former executive director of Alternet.[41][42][43]

Raw Story[edit]

On April 9, 2018, it was announced that AlterNet was acquired by owners of Raw Story, an online news organization, under the newly created company AlterNet Media. In an online statement, Raw Story founder John K. Byrne stated, "AlterNet will continue to carry content from the Independent Media Institute, its prior owner. Thus, much of the content you expect will remain the same. You will see articles by former AlterNet writers appearing with the Independent Media Institute byline."[44]




  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved January 24, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Meet the AlterNet Staff - Alternet". Retrieved 2016-11-03. 
  3. ^ "Re: Any ideas what is happening to Alternet's backbone?". NANOG. Retrieved 2016-11-03. 
  4. ^ "Peter Stokesberry - LinkedIn". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2016-11-03. 
  5. ^ "Raw Story Partners Announce Acquisition of Alternet.Org and The New Civil Rights Movement" (PDF). April 9, 2018. 
  6. ^ "Daily Traffic". Quantcast. Retrieved 17 September 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "The Case for AlterNet". 
  8. ^ a b c
  9. ^ a b Melissa A. Wall, "Social Movements and the net: Activist Journalism Goes Digital", in Kevin Kawamoto (ed, 2003), Digital Journalism: Emerging media and the Changing Horizons of Journalism, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
  10. ^, "AlterNet Supporting Foundations" [1]
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  15. ^ Internet Reviews Archive
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  28. ^,43541
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  37. ^ Buzzfeed News, "Five Women Are Accusing A Top Left-Leaning Media Executive Of Sexually Harassing Them" [2]
  38. ^ "Don Hazen resigns as publisher of progressive news site AlterNet". 22 December 2017. 
  39. ^
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  44. ^ Byrne, John (April 9, 2018). "It's a new day for AlterNet". AlterNet. Retrieved April 9, 2018. 
  45. ^ Webby Awards, 12th Annual Webby Awards Official Honoree Selections
  46. ^ "Media Online: A Few Firms Thrive While Many Fail". NPR. 3 July 2001. 

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