March 18 2013 12:00 AM

The American Independent News Network shuts down select sites, emphasizes national coverage over local

Thursday, Nov. 17 — Readers of the Michigan Messenger will have to look elsewhere for a left-tilted local independent news source.
After four years of operating in the state, the site has been closed down, according to a message posted Wednesday afternoon by the CEO and founder of The American Independent News Network, David Bennahum. The message states:
“I am writing today to announce the closure of the Michigan Messenger. After four years of operation in Michigan, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news into a single site, The American Independent at
“This is part of a shift in strategy, towards new forms of journalism made available as technology has advanced, and an increasing emphasis on national coverage and issue-based coverage from our network. Over the coming months, AINN will announce a number of new journalism initiatives that will continue to advance our mission of producing impact journalism in the public interest.
“Going forward, an archive of the Messenger’s reporting will exist on
“We are grateful for the loyal readership of the Messenger, and to the outstanding work of our reporters and editors.
“We look forward to keeping you posted on our plans, which will be announced early next year.”
Neither Bennahum, nor a representative from the network could be immediately reached for comment.
The American Independent News Network was founded in 2006 as a nonpartisan nonprofit organization, according to the organization’s website. The network “investigates and disseminates news that impacts the public debate and advances the common good.”
The Michigan Messenger was one of eight sites operated by the network. Two other sites, the Minnesota Independent and the New Mexico Independent, had similar messages posted announcing site closures. The remaining sites, the American Independent, Colorado Independent, Florida Independent, Iowa Independent and Texas Independent, had no shut-down announcements.
While the Michigan site is being closed, one of its staff members, Todd Heywood of Lansing, said he will continue writing for American Independent News Network’s national site.
“My understanding is my work will begin publishing on American Independent,” he said. “When that happens I don’t know.”