Thursday, April 13, 2006

Democary Now!: The Death of the Village Voice?

We're at Kat's and were planning to pick her up and head out but as we listened to headlines in the car (on Democracy Now!) we made the decision to start later today. Why Democracy Now! is covering the Village Voice. The decay of the Voice. I logged on (to Kat's computer) to do this and give a heads up to Micah (he, regrettably, called the death for this community a few weeks back) but he'd already written to note the topic and to ask that we note today is Amy Goodman's birthday.

If alternative weekly means something other than free paper and "lifestyle" reporting (and it does to this community), you need to make a point to check out today's Democracy Now! James Ridgeway is a guest and this is an indepth look at what's going on at what, for many, was the alternative weekly.

Sydney H. Schanberg states the new owner told him, "If he wanted to read daily critiques of the Bush administration, he'd read the New York Times."

Ridgeway notes that the new 'direction' doesn't appear to have a place for stories on abortion or the Minute Men. Ridgeway notes, "It seems to me that the paper is kind of . . . shutting down the national coverage."

Speaking on why what's happening is a national issue, Tim Redmond (editor of San Francisco Bay Guardian) stated, "The alternative press has always been about, independent media, about independent media voices." Noting New Times consolidation efforts Redomond also stated, "if we go that way in the alternative media, that's going to be bad."

Jim just pointed out that it's Thursday, when we note indymedia in our nightly roundup, so we'll go into this more this evening. This isn't the DN! entry for the day. We'll note it again later today. But this is an important issue to the community, especially to members who suffer from New Times' weeklies -- with their teens on drugs! teens on steroids! and other lifestyle "scoops" that pass for investigative journalism, feature writing that they then congratulate themselves over as though they broke hard news.

Mark Jacobson is also a guest as is Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy.

James Ridgeway notes that he can't imagine anyone covering NYC and not noting politics. Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman are taking an indepth look at this. Redmond notes the big chain New Times doesn't believe in diversity or in competition. Media does matter and Jim asks that I add, "This is a much more worthy topic than beat-up-on-Katie." And Mike and Wally say to put in, "Happy birthday to Amy Goodman!" (New Times Media is now known as Village Voice Media.)

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