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from the alternet site:
AlterNet is a highly acclaimed Internet information source that provides readers with crucial facts and passionate opinions they can't find anywhere else. Since its inception in 1998, AlterNet has grown dramatically to keep pace with the public demand for independent news and now provides free online content to over 1.5 million readers every month. Relying solely on word of mouth and viral marketing, AlterNet is unique in that its success has come entirely from its readers, who demand reliable information and use it to take action.
AlterNet's journalistic achievements include being named one of NPR's five "winners on the Internet," winning a Webby in the Print and Zines category and a nomination in the "activism" category, and winning Utne's Independent Press Award for Online Political Coverage.
AlterNet is a project of the Independent Media Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening and supporting independent and alternative journalism that also includes WireTap Magazine, an online magazine by and for socially conscious youth, and the Strategic Press Information Network, a non-profit public relations consulting organization that provides media trainings to other non-profit organizations to enhance the power of their message.
The Problem We Face
Millions of people, despite leading busy lives, are concerned about the direction of our country and its policies. We are hungry for the trustworthy, stimulating and value-driven information we need to create change. Good policies, and especially good changes to bad policies, require mobilizing concerned citizens.
The media marketplace is increasingly dominated by commercial messages, or focused on entertainment at the expense of insightful information. The results of this trend are large gaps in news coverage and diminished public confidence in the media. Although thousands of issue-oriented websites offer outstanding public interest content, too many remain hidden to experienced researchers and casual Internet users.
Without qualified editors to evaluate material and make it easier for users to find and act upon it, the public interest information people want and need will continue to be marginalized.
The Solution We Propose: The Infomediary
At AlterNet, we are doing something about information overload and corporate media irresponsibility. Our website is designed to serve as your "online helper," leading individuals, policy professionals and journalists alike to sources for information and insight. There is a word for this role. It is an "infomediary."
Average people need an infomediary to help them sort through the mass of information. Activists need an infomediary to lead them quickly to collegial efforts and relevant data. Public interest websites need an infomediary to steer like-minded people to their content.
The infomediary finds, evaluates, aggregates and organizes links to the best journalism, policy analysis and websites on a range of pressing issues, from globalization and grassroots organizing, to the war on drugs and genetic engineering.
By publishing grassroots success stories and inspirational narratives alongside hard-hitting critiques of policies, investigative reports and expert analysis, we emphasize workable solutions to aggravating problems. Our editorial mix underscores a commitment to fairness, equity and global stewardship, and to making connections across generational, ethnic and issue lines.
Our relationship with you, the reader, is second only to the integrity of our information sources. Through our discussion area and feedback opportunities, we hope to give our online community a meaningful voice in the ongoing evolution of AlterNet and to strengthen the insight that springs from meaningful dialogue among peers.
We welcome you to the AlterNet community and hope to deserve your trust and support.