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APN Celebrates Two Years of Publication

APN Celebrates Two Years of Publication


By Matthew Cardinale, News Editor, The Atlanta Progressive News (November 25, 2007)

(APN) ATLANTA – Atlanta Progressive News celebrated the second anniversary since its founding on November 23, 2007. To commemorate this occasion, Matthew Cardinale, Founder of APN, has issued the following letter to our readers:

Dear Readers,

Two years! It’s now been two years since Atlanta Progressive News appeared on the Internet, we published our first story, and emailed it out to our mailing list of about ten people. Some of our readers don’t know the back-story. I was staying at an extended stay hotel after being displaced to Atlanta from New Orleans as a result of Hurricane Katrina on November 23, 2005.

I had been planning on starting New Orleans Street News, and you could say the winds blew me here, so instead we ended up with Atlanta Progressive News.

Today, we have on our website 256 original news articles and our mailing list includes 900 Atlanta and statewide activists, politicians, scholars, journalists, nonprofit people, and interested citizens alike.

We’ve had many wonderful accomplishments this year, and of course we would not have been able to do it without the support of our many individual donors and our growing progressive posse of community advertisers. One of the things that was great about our last fundraiser, was we met our goal of $1000 and we did it with dozens of small donations, many in the $10 range.

Yet, it’s the fact that so many people recognize the importance of independent media and see what an important contribution we make here in Atlanta and nationwide, that is really legitimizing to our efforts.

We must also recognize our Senior Staff Writer, Jonathan Springston, who has been writing with us since the very beginning and in the last year has been writing more frequently. Jonathan has covered the Troy Davis death penalty case, the Grady Hospital privatization scheme, Atlanta City Council’s consideration of a “free speech zone” at protests, the court proceedings of the Cuban Five, and so many other issues.

I would also like to recognize Sarah Epting and Susan Keith, who join me on the Board of Directors of APN.

Also, special thanks to Adam Shapiro for having APN reporters on your WRFG Thursday 12-1pm EST “Current Events” show every week since July 13, 2006. APN reporters have also appeared on Brian Sherman’s WRFG show on Mondays, Lorraine Jacque-White’s WAOK show in the mornings, and national appearances including KPFA California, WWRL New York, and WGNU St. Louis.

Atlanta Progressive News has also been mentioned, or credited for stories, in Southern Voice magazine, Atlanta Journal-Constitution website, Creative Loafing website, Atlanta Magazine, the Mighty Great Speckled Bird newspaper, Christian Science Monitor newspaper, the Baltimore Sun newspaper, the Cleveland Plain Dealer website, New York Amsterdam News newspaper, San Antonio Express-News newspaper, the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper, Workers World newspaper, the Courier newspaper (Findlay, Ohio), and the Rock River Times (Rockford, Illinois).

This year Jonathan and I began freelancing as well with Inter-Press Service (IPS), because amazingly, stories of global interest just keep happening here in Georgia on a regular basis. We provided coverage of the US Social Forum, Troy Davis case, Cuban Five, and others, some articles which went around the world, printed in multiple languages.

We also began syndication relationships with two historically Black newspapers, including The San Francisco Bay View and the Atlanta Voice. The latter was terminated when it appeared it was beholden to Atlanta Housing Authority and we later learned the Voice’s publisher was an AHA demolition partner.

This year was also notable for our special series, “Scandalousness at Atlanta Housing Authority ... As Public Housing Remains in Jeopardy.” We’ve published 32 original news articles on AHA’s efforts to demolish public housing. We’ve provided comprehensive information about the many problems with the voucher program. We’ve had two major AHA whistleblowers disclose apparent violations where residents were evicted for failure to pay utility bills while AHA under-funded the utility subsidies.

We’ve also increased our frequency of publication this year. In the last year, we published a news article almost every other day.

So what’s ahead? Some things we’d like to do in the next year include:

-Another website upgrade to APN v 3.0.

-Atlantaprogressivenews.com/blog

-RSS

-More writers

-Video

As of right now, we do not foresee printing a new issue of the print edition. Y’all may have noticed that after three issues, we have been on hiatus for a while. I think we need to keep it simple for a while, focusing on improving the website and getting Internet advertising up, before we consider printing again.

Our website currently gets 4,000 hits/day, and is the 3rd most trafficked print media website (ie- not including TV websites) in Atlanta, after the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Creative Loafing.

Can you imagine, all that traffic, over 2 million hits, and it’s also driven on content. That is, it’s not driven by a fancy, interactive website. People would be surprised to know I manage our website in basic html!

With all that web traffic, a lot of local progressive organizations, candidates, and small businesses should definitely take out ads with us. Unfortunately, we do not have an ad staff and we volunteers spend most of our time on news content. Therefore, if you’re out there and want your ad to get 120,000 views per month for $70 (or less- make us an offer), please feel encouraged to contact us.

Also, there’s a new thing you may have noticed for local groups planning events here in Atlanta that want to advertise a targetted, special event to our big umbrella of readers, we offer announcement space at the top of our email blasts for just $25/announcement, up to 100 words. That’s another really great way to support APN.

Remember, the corporate media exists to confuse, distract, and disempower the people. We exist to bring us closer to single-payer universal health care, affordable housing, living wages, a clean environment, peace on Earth, and elections integrity. I started APN because I knew that knowledge is power.

And yet in Atlanta we already have an abundant, vibrant, diverse progressive community, with people working on all of those social justice issues and more. We have the answers within our own community. But we must stay connected and informed–which can be supported through independent, progressive news media–and this has the potential to amplify all our efforts into creating the peaceful, prosperous reality we seek.

There are two struggles on the social justice front: the material struggle and the ideological struggle. Just as Amnesty International collects letters to save a death row inmate who may be innocent, we struggle to inform the public about the evidence unheard. Just as the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless and others fight for public housing on the streets, we fight to inform the public about the dangers of the voucher program.

The thing is, the politicians in power are captive to the corporate media because many Americans are still captive to the corporate media. Why is impeachment off the table? Because oh no, what will the corporate media say? Why won’t Democrats set a deadline for withdrawing from Iraq? Because oh no, what will the corporate media say?

Thus, by providing an independent voice, we provide an alternative which plays such a fundamental role in the struggle for social justice.

Thanks everyone for making this anniversary possible. And stay tuned. Because we’ve got an Atlanta Housing Authority investigation in the works that’s going to blow your’all’s minds.

Sincerely, Matthew Cardinale

*************

About the author:

Matthew Cardinale is the News Editor for Atlanta Progressive News and may be reached at matthew@atlantaprogressivenews.com

Revised syndication policy:

Our syndicaton policy was updated June 2007. For more information on how to syndicate Atlanta Progressive News content, please visit: http://www.atlantaprogressivenews.com/extras/syndicate.html

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