Type of site
Progressive activist site
Owner Independent Media Institute
Created by Independent Media Institute
Alexa rank Decrease 4,886 (January 2016)[1]
Commercial No
Registration Optional
Launched June 16, 1997 (1997-06-16)[2][3][4]
Current status Active

AlterNet is a liberal activist news service and a project of the non-profit Independent Media Institute.[5] Launched in 1998, AlterNet claims a readership of over 5.9 million visitors per month,[6] though the web ratings service Quantcast estimates that it receives 1.3 million.[7]

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


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".[6]

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.[8]

AlterNet is financed through individual donations, by grants from major donors, and ad revenue.[8] 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.




  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. It has been described by NPR as a "left-liberal news and opinion site". "Media Online: A Few Firms Thrive While Many Fail"
  6. 1 2 3 "The Case for AlterNet".
  7. "Daily Traffic". Quantcast. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
  8. 1 2 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
  9. Webby Awards, 12th Annual Webby Awards Official Honoree Selections
  10. "Media Online: A Few Firms Thrive While Many Fail". NPR. 3 July 2001.

External links

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