Any alt or new journalism junkie, or those interested in the state of newspapers in general, should check out Chicago Reader media critic Mike Miner's blog and the thread of posts on the Reader's sale to the Creative Loafing company, which is based in Atlanta.
The Reader and the Washington City Paper, both stellar alt weeklies that have churned out exceptional journalism and sent editors packing to influential national magazines like Mother Jones, were previously held by a group that owns Seattle's Stranger and The Portland Mercury.
So far, the editors are saying they'll stick around at the Reader and City Paper, good signs in my book, though never a long-term guarantee.
In the mid-size alt-paper universe, however, two of my favorite editors have signed off. Richard Hart of the Independent Weekly, which serves Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, and Eric Johnson of the Monterey County Weekly both helped to shape my editorial vision and mentored me through some obstacles in real reporting of progressive issues and newsroom leadership. I could use more of both, and I am very sad to see them leave. AAN conventions won't be the same without them.
(Disclaimer: The Chronicle is not an AAN member. We will, however, throw ourselves to their discerning membership committee in 2008. This year, nineteen papers applied, but the committee nominated just three for membership, including Georgia's Metro Spirit, where Chronicle managing editor Marti Stephens cut her alt-weekly teeth. The late Rocky Mountain Bullhorn, where holla bloggers cut ours, was also a member.)