Reviving the alt-weekly soul

“All that’s missing is the form. If it can’t be newsprint — which seems likely — maybe it has to be electronic. But whatever new form it takes, the need for regular, plentiful, and local arts journalism is clear.”

I think we may be at such a crisis point in arts journalism that things can’t but get better — so even though this may be more wish than prediction, I’ll say 2018 will see a reinvention of the role formerly served by the “alternative weeklies.”

Now that even New York (The Village Voice) and Los Angeles (LA Weekly) have lost theirs, no one can say it’s for lack of readership; surely the biggest media markets in the country can support arts journalism. And obviously the problem is not a lack of content — my Twitter contacts alone could easily fill the pages of a weekly for both cities, and you might as well toss in my home market of Cambridge/Boston so I can contribute too.

All that’s missing is the form. If it can’t be newsprint — which seems likely — maybe it has to be electronic. But whatever new form it takes, the need for regular, plentiful, and local arts journalism is clear. So c’mon, let’s crack this problem before next year is done.

is author of and host of the Radiotopia podcast miniseries .

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