Alt-Weekly Editor Asks Downie and Schudson: What About Us?

october 22, 2009  12:14 pm
This week's release of Leonard Downie Jr. and Michael Schudson's report "The Reconstruction of American Journalism" has the journalism world buzzing. "The report takes a particular interest in local accountability and enterprise reporting," Washington City Paper editor Erik Wemple notes, "which is the commodity most at stake as newspapers pare down their editorial staffs." After searching the report for any mention of the alt-weekly's role in journalism's future and finding none, Wemple says he understands. "After all, alt-weeklies ... only channel all of their editorial resources toward local reporting; only conduct long-form investigations of key local agencies and authorities all the time; only monitor city halls like no one's business; only do all kinds of arts reporting that no other outlets care to do; and have been at it only for about half a century now," he writes. "Why mention those news organizations?"