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Web address
Commercial? No
Type of site
Progressive activist site
Registration Optional
Owner Independent Media Institute
Created by Independent Media Institute
Launched 1998
Alexa rank
positive decrease 3,923 (November 2014)[1]
Current status Active

AlterNet is an activist news service and a project of the non-profit Independent Media Institute.[2] Launched in 1998, AlterNet claims a readership of over 5.9 million visitors per month,[3] though the web ratings service Quantcast estimates that it receives 1.3 million.[4]

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".[3] AlterNet's tagline is "The Mix is the Message."


  • Overview 1
  • Awards 2
  • Books 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Founded in 1998, 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".[3]

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, The Guardian, 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 is headed by founder and executive editor Don Hazen, a former publisher of Mother Jones.[5]

AlterNet is financed through individual donations, by grants from major donors, and ad revenue.[5] In 2001–2005, the top three financial backers of the Independent Media Institute were the Nathan Cummings Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.


  • Webby Awards
    • Nominated: 2002, 2004
    • Winner: 2003, 2005
    • Official Honoree (Politics section), 2008[6]
  • Utne Independent Press Awards
    • Nominated: 2004, 2005
    • Winner: 2002, 2003 (Reader's Choice)
  • One of NPR's five "best on the internet", 2001 [7]


  • 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 February 21, 2004). San Francisco, Calif:, 2001. ISBN 0-9633687-1-0
  • The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq at the Wayback Machine (archived March 15, 2006), 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


  1. ^
  2. ^ It has been described by NPR as a "left-liberal news and opinion site". "Media Online: A Few Firms Thrive While Many Fail"
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ Webby Awards, 12th Annual Webby Awards Official Honoree Selections
  7. ^

External links

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