Alt-Weekly Editors Talk About the State of the Industry

june 4, 2008  09:08 am
In this week's editor's note welcoming AAN folks to this year's Convention, Philadelphia Weekly editor Tim Whitaker looks at what's sure to be a much-discussed topic this weekend: the state of the alt-weekly business. "In the alt world, editorial staffs are small and getting smaller," he writes. "Not only must a winning online blueprint be conceived and executed with shrinking resources, but great attention must be paid to what is still, for the moment, the nest egg -- the weekly newspaper." He talks to alt-weekly editors from around the country, many of whom have recently seen their editorial staffs drastically cut -- some in half. But even though many staffs are being asked to do more with even less, the editors Whitaker talks to aren't all pessimistic about the future of the industry, and many of them have specific prescriptions. And as professional journalists, we're reminded, the situation could be far worse: We could be in the daily newspaper industry. "We write for intelligent readers," says Village Voice editor Tony Ortega. "Dailies cater to people who don't like to read. Look at the way they're written."