Jon Keller, a political analyst for the local CBS affiliate in Boston, gives high praise to the Weekly Dig in an April 8 post on his blog. Keller calls the newspaper "indispensable" and points readers to a recent Dig story on Keno as a must-read in Massachusetts' legalized-gambling debate. According to his bio on the station's Web site, Keller also broadcasts morning drive commentaries on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 and contributes weekly to The Boston Herald and monthly to Boston Magazine, which is owned by the same company that owns the Dig.
Eight of the prospective members are previous applicants, and two are owned by alt-weekly veterans who had been members during a previous association with different papers. AAN members will also be asked this year to evaluate Boston's Weekly Dig and Des Moines' Cityview, the first two post-sale newspapers whose membership will be reviewed under a process established in 2004 when the association's bylaws were amended. The fate of all of these papers will be determined at the organization's next Annual Meeting, which will be held in Little Rock on Saturday, June 17, the last day of the 29th annual AAN convention.
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."