March 26, 2013

The New York Times | Association of Alternative Newsmedia
Alt-weeklies would take risks “that I don’t think a daily paper ever would,” former alt-weekly editor David Carr says in a video discussion with A. O. Scott about the plight of alt-weekly papers.

“You’re describing the Internet,” Carr tells Scott when he talks about the papers’ old core functions: Connecting likeminded members of a community in various ways.

Those functions aren’t a complete business model anymore, Rachael Daigle writes, but many alt-weeklies see a way forward by becoming digital ad agencies and event presenters, too. Some small alts, Daigle writes, are even growing:

Though media critics tend to gauge the health of the alt-weekly industry by looking at the largest and oldest papers in the country — many of whom have seen circulation drops in the last year — industry insiders take a different tack, in part because they know that in places like Syracuse and Colorado Springs, circulation and readership is up. And in places like Little Rock, digital sales are booming.

Like Carr, I used to work at Washington City Paper, and was on the job there when it ran the headline the Times video shows only in part.

Previously: Circulation down, challenges up at alt-weeklies |  Boston Phoenix to close  | How some alt-weeklies are innovating their way out of a crisis

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Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City…
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