Type of site
|Progressive news website|
|Owner||Independent Media Institute|
|Created by||Independent Media Institute|
|Alexa rank||6,058 (March 2017[update])|
|Launched||June 16, 1997|
AlterNet is a progressive news magazine and a project of the non-profit Independent Media Institute. Launched in 1998, AlterNet claims a readership of over 5.9 million visitors per month, though the web ratings service Quantcast estimates that it receives 1.3 million.
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". AlterNet's tagline is "The Mix is the Message."
AlterNet was founded in the fall of 1987 by the Institute for Alternative Journalism (IAJ), which was incorporated in December of 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".
Coverage is sub-divided into several special sections related to progressive news and culture, including News & Politics, World, Economy, Civil Liberties, Immigration, Reproductive Justice, Economy, Environment, Food, Water, Books, Media and Culture, Belief, Drugs, Personal Health, Sex and Relationships, Vision, and Investigations.
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. The editorial staff was headed by executive editor Don Hazen, 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. Hazen resigned following the allegations on December 22, 2017.
AlterNet is financed through individual donations, by grants from major donors, and ad revenue. 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.
- Webby Awards
- Nominated: 2002, 2004
- Winner: 2003, 2005
- Official Honoree (Politics section), 2008
- Utne Independent Press Awards
- Nominated: 2004, 2005
- Winner: 2002, 2003 (Reader's Choice)
- One of NPR's five "best on the internet", 2001 
- We the Media. 1997. ISBN 978-1-56584-380-6
- Hazen, Don. After 9/11: Solutions for a Saner World at the Wayback Machine (archived 21 February 2004). San Francisco, Calif: AlterNet.org, 2001. ISBN 0-9633687-1-0
- "The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq". Archived from the original on 15 March 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-02. , 2003. ISBN 1-58322-644-3
- Hazen, Don, and Lakshmi Chaudhry. Start Making Sense: Turning the Lessons of Election 2004 into Winning Progressive Politics. White River Junction, Vt. T: Chelsea Green Pub. Co, 2005. ISBN 978-1-931498-84-5
- "Alternet.org Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
- "Meet the AlterNet Staff - Alternet". Alternet.org. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
- "Re: Any ideas what is happening to Alternet's backbone?". NANOG. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
- "Peter Stokesberry - LinkedIn". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
- It has been described by NPR as a "left-liberal news and opinion site". "Media Online: A Few Firms Thrive While Many Fail"
- "About AlterNet". Alternet. 2000-01-01. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
- "The Case for AlterNet".
- "Daily Traffic". Quantcast. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- 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
- Buzzfeed News, "Five Women Are Accusing A Top Left-Leaning Media Executive Of Sexually Harassing Them" 
- AlterNet.org, "AlterNet Supporting Foundations" 
- Webby Awards, 12th Annual Webby Awards Official Honoree Selections
- "Media Online: A Few Firms Thrive While Many Fail". NPR. 3 July 2001.