The American Independent News Network — The Florida Independent’s parent organization — was accepted into the Association of Alternative Newsmedia as the group’s first web-only news outlet following a vote of approval during its annual membership meeting held in New Orleans last month.

“We are thrilled to welcome the American Independent News Network as out first online-only member,” Tiffany Shackelford, the executive director of AAN, said in a statement. “Its independent voice is an excellent example of the tireless and compelling journalism other online news organizations should aspire to replicate.”

Shackelford added: “We look forward to accepting more online-only news outlets.”

The American Independent, with its eight state and national affiliates, enters the AAN fold after it received the two-thirds votes necessary to gain admission into the alternative press trade group formerly known as the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. The organization approved the name change the same day it accepted The American Independent. Only 30 percent of news outlets that apply for membership with AAN are selected.

Comprising 130 publications that report in every major metropolitan area of the United States, AAN maintains a combined weekly circulation of over 6.5 million as well as an active readership of nearly 17 million in the U.S. and Canada.

Several members of The American Independent editorial team are alumnae of AAN publications, including its executive editor, Blake de Pastino, who reported for publications in the New Times network.

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