The Alternative Press: Then & Now

Wednesday November 18, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

AADL hosts a fun and wide-ranging conversation with several local alternative press leaders about their experiences running an alternative press.
Discover what motivated them to start and how their missions may have changed over the course of their runs; the technological and financial challenges; how the Internet and social media have altered the landscape; and their views on the role of the alternative press in our communities then versus now.

Panelists include:

Harvey Ovshinsky (Moderator): Harvey started The Fifth Estate when he was 17 years old. It has become the longest running alternative newspaper in the country, and is about to celebrate its 50th birthday.

Ted Sylvester and Laurie Wechter: Ted and Laurie founded Agenda in the 1980s and ran it through the 1990s. Agenda was an independent, non-aligned newspaper that served Ann Arbor and nearby towns as a forum for the area’s many liberal/leftist activist groups and nonprofit human service organizations.

Barbara Barefield: Barbara worked on alternative newspaper The Ann Arbor Sun in the 1970s. The newspaper was the mouthpiece for the White Panther Party and the succeeding Rainbow People’s Party before being an independent publication devoted to local issues, left-wing politics, music, and arts.

Dave Askins: Dave, with Mary Morgan, ran The Ann Arbor Chronicle from 2008-2014. The Ann Arbor Chronicle was an online newspaper focusing on civic affairs and local government coverage.

If you want more information about these publications, The Ann Arbor District Library hosts the online archives of Agenda, The Ann Arbor Sun, and The Ann Arbor Chronicle and you can view past issues of Agenda and The Ann Arbor Sun at Old News and past articles from the Ann Arbor Chronicle at the Ann Arbor Chronicle Archive.


original sun

i am searching my archive for the first Sun we printed with an electronic Gestetner mimeograph machine & stencil in the basement at Hill street; art by Gary, the ten point program, list of likely suspects seemingly in charge of this renegade culture busy creating itself with products like the Sun. even the selling of ads did not seem like that to me at the time as it was about mutual support, gaing traction in new territory. the Sun was our voice day to day which we used to promote the music, concerts, benefits, and political activism that has peaks because folks are busy building community every day. the bands always practiced and played everywhere; we started food cooops, child care centers, a ballroom, free concerts, incredible festivals ... and the Sun was integral to all and allowed us to communicate with the larger ann arbor community directly. and people would come to us with stories which we were ill equiped to imvestigate. but when Ken Kelley (RIP) was editor we had delivered to the Sun a wallet someone had found under the bleachers at the football game; but it turned out to be Sheriff Harvey's! Ken photograpehed and printed in the Sun some of the rascist honky stuff we found inside . the Sun was real fun.