David Carr on Alt-Weeklies, the Web, and the Merger

february 9, 2006  09:37 am
In an extensive interview in Rochester, N.Y.'s City Newspaper, the NY Times' media reporter and incipient blogger doled out some advice for the industry that used to provide him with a paycheck. Alternative journalism is "lippy discourse plus culturally literate recommendations plus listings," he said. Problem is, the same "fundamental assets" are also available on the Web, where they're "far more searchable." So alt-weeklies need to do a "better job of putting their brand into digital realms," and they need to compete with the Web "to keep refreshing that sort of children's crusade of talented young reporters (that) make alternative newspapers vital." Carr isn't troubled by the New Times-VVM merger because he's "a fan of the New Times version of newspapering. They do very robust, city-oriented coverage that I think is a force for good, or at least accountability in the cities that they do them in."