Welch in the CJR
Thursday, September 4th, 2003
My old comrade Matt Welch blasts alternative weeklies in the Columbia Journalism Review… and goes on to offer a meticulous argument that blogs are the future of journalism. Even for those of us who’ve read and written these things many times, Matt’s rendition is sweet.
Plus there’s some great egg-tossing. Standing at the bar during an Altweekly convention in San Fransisco, Matt reports, “I started a discussion about what specific attributes qualified these papers, and the forty-seven-year-old publishing genre that spawned them, to continue meriting the adjective ‘alternative.’ Alternative to what? To the straight-laced ‘objectivity’ and pyramid-style writing of daily newspapers? New Journalists and other narrative storytellers crashed those gates long ago. Alternative to society’s oppressive intolerance toward deviant behavior? Tell it to the Osbournes, as they watch Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Something to do with corporate ownership? Not unless ‘alternative’ no longer applies to Village Voice Media (owned in part by Goldman Sachs) or the New Times chain (which has been involved in some brutal acquisition and liquidation deals). Someone at the table lamely offered up ‘a sense of community,’ but Fox News could easily clear that particular bar.”