The Columbia Journalism Review dropped a piece this week by Allison Braden articulating what has become a new strand in the print mediasphere: the alt-altweekly.
The entities she describes are alternative media outlets begun mostly by journalists who had been fired, laid off or otherwise relegated to the great scrapheap of forgotten content creators. She mentions specifically the Pittsburgh Current, the LAnd, Baltimore Beat and Queen City Nerve.
Again, Triad City Beat becomes a sensational omission.
Once, years ago, Jordan Green and I were counseling a new employee and he said to us, “You know, I am not in this for the glory.”
And we laughed and laughed before I said, “It’s a good thing you’re not in it for the glory, because there is none.”
“None,” I added for emphasis.
But when it comes to employee-led coups in the altweekly newspaper space, Triad City Beat has become something of a prototype. Plus, you’d think the CJR would want to give a nod to Green, who went to J-school there.
I am used to this. Word on the street was that we were finished before we even got started. Even after five years and two national awards, we are still the only newspaper that is not on the Greensboro Coliseum’s approved advertiser list. I can’t even convince the local Wikipedia editor to green-light a TCB page.
My friends at other altweeklies around the country laugh at the fierce competition I’ve instigated in what they refer to as a “postage stamp” of a market. The guys I went to college with still think I’m making the whole thing up.
I am okay with all this. In fact, I prefer it. What’s more alt than being continually overlooked, and succeeding in spite of the apathy, the ignorance, the straight-up interference running against our mission?
We’re like the Warren Zevon of altweeklies.
And while everyone else is looking the other way, this is where we’ll be, chasing down stories, packaging them up and serving them hot and fresh to our readers, who grow steadily in number every. single. day.
Ignoring us only makes us work harder.