Page One Collectibles « PREV | NEXT »: Carnage, Surveyed

November 12, 2008

'An Anvil Under Each Arm'

David Hirschman's Q&A with Dan Savage in mediabistro today is more about sex writing than anything else; it certainly isn't about arts journalism. But Savage's praise of alt-weeklies and criticism of dailies bear thinking about:

I think alt-weeklies have more and more of a role to play -- particularly as dailies continue to try and swim around with an anvil under each arm. One anvil is objectivity and the other is "family newspaper." Alt-weeklies have the luxury of publishing writing by adults, to adults, and for adults. And that's a real advantage. It's a style advantage, it's an attitudinal advantage, and it's also an urban advantage.

The dailies here in Seattle we call the "donuts" because they write to the suburbs and they don't write for the city, or advocate for the city. Their worldview and their attitudes are suburban, because that's who they think their subscribers are. People pile up in cities not because they don't like yards, but because they want to get laid. People want to be where other people are, and we've always advocated for good urban values.

Alt-weeklies are really just about advocacy journalism and truth-telling, and they engage in arguments and throw bombs in the way that daily papers can't allow themselves to. I mean, daily newspapers all need to put "fuck" in a headline above the fold one day -- it'll solve all their problems. That's my prescription. And then in one fell swoop they'll get rid of all those 80-year-old subscribers who won't let them drop "Blondie." Catering to the 80-year-olds? Where's that getting newspapers? Making sure there's nothing in your paper that's inappropriate for an eighty-year-old to read?

November 12, 2008 8:50 AM | | Comments (0)

Leave a comment

















Archives

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


About

    ARTicles ARTicles is a project of 
    the National Arts Journalism Program, an association of some 500 journalists in the United States. Our group blog is a place for arts and cultural journalists to share ideas and information, to celebrate what we do, and to make the case for its continuing value. ARTicles is edited by Laura Collins-Hughes. To contact her, click here.
    more

    ARTicles Bloggers Meet our bloggers: Sasha Anawalt, MJ Andersen, Alicia Anstead, Laura Bleiberg, Larry Blumenfeld, Jeanne Carstensen, Robert Christgau, Laura Collins-Hughes, Thomas Conner, Lily Tung Crystal, Richard Goldstein, Patti Hartigan, Glenn Kenny, Wendy Lesser, Ruth Lopez, Nancy Malitz, Douglas McLennan, Tom Moon, Abe Peck, Peter Plagens, John Rockwell, Werner Trieschmann, Lesley Valdes and Douglas Wolk. more

    NAJP NAJP is America's largest organization dedicated to the advancement of arts and cultural journalism. The NAJP has produced research, publications and discussions and works to bring together journalists, artists, news executives, cultural organization administrators, funders and others concerned with arts and culture in America today. more

    Join NAJP Join America's largest organization of arts journalists. Here's how more

see all archives

Contact: articles@najp.org