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The always-provocative Web-news pioneer Mark Potts throws in some fine commentary on the event of the week in City Paperworld. That is, bankruptcy.
While many like to draw distinctions between alt-weeklies, like City Paper, and big dailies, like the Washington Post, Potts enumerates the similarities:
Facing all sorts of new competition? Check. Classifieds decimated by craigslist, et al? Check. Declining display advertisers without finding replacements? Check. Aging readership? Check. Rising printing and production costs? Check. Failure to move quickly to the Web (despite a younger audience that’s naturally Web-savvy)? Check–in fact, when it comes to the Web, a lot of alternative papers make large papers look like denizens of Silicon Valley.
Blogger Hamilton Nolan, meanwhile, comes up with a rad idea of his own—turn alt-weeklies into alt-monthlies. He says there’s no need for a publication like this to do exactly what it’s doing right now (blogging, that is). There are already enough bloggers in this city, says Nolan, so use your reporters to feed an awesome monthly publication. The solution, in his words:
Fuck an alt-weekly. Become and Alt-monthly. Keep the features. Take your time. Consolidate. Save on printing costs. Save journalismism. And try not to go broke. Your cities will thank you.
I can think of only eight reasons why this approach might not work:
1) Less revenue.
3) Less income.
4) Posting content once a month on a Web site isn’t a very good recipe for traffic.
5) Less jack.
6) On Tap.
7) Less cash.
8) Washington Life.