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AlterNet is a liberal activist news service 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 additional 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."




Founded in 1998, AlterNet publishes a combination of policy critiques, investigative reports and analysis, grassroots success stories, and personal narratives. Its coverage emphasises the discovery of solutions to social problems, and its editorial philosophy is "to uphold a commitment to fairness, equality, and global stewardship, while making connexions 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 additionally 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.

AlterNet is financed through individual donations, by grants from major donors, and ad revenue. 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
  • Utne Independent Press Awards
    • Nominated: 2004, 2005
    • Winner: 2002, 2003 (Reader's Choice)
  • One of NPR's five "best on the internet", 2001


  • . 1997. ISBN 978-1-56584-380-6
  • Hazen, Don. at the Wayback Machine (archived February 21, 2004). San Francisco, Calif: AlterNet.org, 2001. ISBN 0-9633687-1-0
  • . 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 [1]
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Created: May 8, 2016, 7:41 a.m.
Last Modified: Feb. 6, 2017, 4:22 a.m.