Editor of former MT sister City Paper pens op-ed in support of alt weeklies

March 5, 2014

Besty, Baltimore City Paper’s mascot, is photographed walking up the stairs of the Baltimore Sun following the acquisition of City Paper.

Baynard Woods, senior editor at former MT sister Baltimore City Paper, has penned an op-ed for the New York Times in support of alt weeklies. City Paper did not join Detroit Metro Times, San Antonio Current, Cleveland Scene and Orlando Weekly in the newly-formed Euclid Media Group after the papers’ former owner, Times Shamrock, announced the sale of their alternative weekly division, and was recently bought by Baltimore’s daily, the Baltimore Sun.

Woods outlined some of the turmoil at City Paper following the announcement of sale, and offered the following support for alt weeklies:

[An] alt weekly is connected to a city in the way that a website can never be. In Baltimore, somewhere between 20 and 40 percent of the population doesn’t have regular Internet access. The glib techno-utopians who not only foresee a paperless tomorrow, but also lobby for a paperless present, are ready to forget about these people. Alt weeklies might not always reach everyone in the city, but at least, like the dailies, they try to be available and relevant to everyone.

[...] An alt weekly has a staff of paid reporters and editors whose jobs are not only to know the city, but to love it, to hate it, and to be an integral part of it, cajoling, ridiculing, praising and skewering city officials, artists and entrepreneurs alike, while giving voices to the “city folk.”

We think that is an eloquent summary.

EDIT: The New Times Broward – Palm Beach has a response that is also a good read: “Dear New York Times, Alt-Weeklies Are Decidedly Not “Over.’”

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