Up & Coming Weekly

September 05, 2017

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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4 UCW SEPTEMBER 6 - 12, 2017 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM PUBLISHER'S PEN STAFF PUBLISHER Bill Bowman Bill@upandcomingweekly.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/ EDITOR Stephanie Crider editor@upandcomingweekly.com OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Paulette Naylor accounting@upandcomingweekly. com ASSISTANT EDITOR Leslie Pyo leslie@upandcomingweekly.com SENIOR REPORTER Jeff Thompson news@upandcomingweekly. com SENIOR SPORTS EDITOR Earl Vaughan Jr. GRAPHIC DESIGNER Elizabeth Long art@upandcomingweekly.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS D.G. Martin, Pitt Dickey, Margaret Dickson, John Hood, Erinn Crider, Jim Jones, Shanessa Fenner, Paul Hall SALES ADMINISTRATOR/ DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Laurel Handforth laurel@upandcomingweekly. com MARKETING/SALES Linda McAlister Brown linda@upandcomingweekly.com ––––––––––– Up & Coming Weekly www.upandcomingweekly.com 208 Rowan Street P.O. Box 53461 Fayetteville, NC 28305 PHONE: (910) 484-6200 FAX: (910) 484-9218 Up & Coming Weekly is a "Quality of Life" publication with local features, news and information on what's happening in and around the Fayetteville/Cumberland County community. Up & Coming Weekly is published weekly on Wednesdays. Up & Coming Weekly welcomes manuscripts, photographs and artwork for publication consideration, but assumes no responsibility for them. We cannot accept responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts or material. Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the pub- lisher. The publisher reserves the right to edit or reject copy submitted for publication. Up & Coming Weekly is free of charge and distributed at indoor and outdoor locations throughout Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, Pope Air Force Base, Hope Mills and Spring Lake. Readers are limited to one copy per person. ©2007 by F&B Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or advertisements without permission is strictly prohibited. Cover art designed with various elements from: vecteezy.com and freepik.com. What We're Losing When We Say Goodbye to Alt Weeklies, the Rebels of Journalism by PAUL FARHI Publishers note: is article is reprinted with the courtesy of e Washington Post. Community newspapers offer insight into the heart of communities like no iPhone, Android or social media platform ever could. e article below is relevant and explains why extinction is inevitable if change does not happen. ey wrote about rock music and mari - juana, when those were actually daring things to write about. ey used profanity sometimes, when even sometimes was rude and shock- ing. In the back, past the ads for head shops, porn theaters and escort services, there were classified listings that featured a strange code of longing and desire: "SWM seeks SWF for LT relationship, light S&M." "Alternative" weeklies flowered in the 1970s in just about every American city, large and small. ey were the alternative to the strait- laced establishment press and the successors to the ragtag "underground" papers that had raged against the Vietnam War. Less angry and more professional than their forebears, they still raged against authority when a new edition dropped outside the coffeehouse or club. Free-distribution alt weeklies — all those New Timeses and Real Papers — aren't quite dead yet, but the fraternity is in some distress. e Boston Phoenix checked out in 2013. e San Francisco Bay Guardian went under in 2014 (revived online in 2016). e Philadelphia City Paper shut down in 2015. e Baltimore City Paper said last month that it will close, too. e news on Tuesday was another down - ward leg on the patient's chart: Facing declin- ing revenue, the Village Voice — the hipster granddaddy of alt weeklies — said it would end its print edition and publish online only. And so, after 62 years, the Voice will no longer beckon from newsstands and street-corner boxes, tempting the sophisticated or the merely curious. Henceforth, cosmopolitanism will come only on a computer screen. Alt weeklies pioneered what the Smart - phone Generation now takes for granted. ey wrote about things that the mainstream media (before it was ever called that) was indifferent to or ignored. ey covered nightlife, criticized the arts, hectored the newspapers and TV sta - tions about their reporting. ey wrote about politics from a subjective and unapologetically partisan perspective, almost always a lefty one. ey sometimes exposed wrongdoing and malfeasance in their midst; the alt weekly Wil - lamette Week in Portland, Ore., won a Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for revelations about Gov. Neil Goldschmidt's molestation of a 14-year-old girl 30 years earlier. Much of that is available on a screen now, of course. But unlike their digital children — the HuffPosts, Jezebels and Slates — the alt week - lies offered one important difference: ey focused on their towns, not everyone's. ey were intensely local, riffing on a city's politics, environment, culture and people. ey offered what no national news sites now does — consideration of a common municipal space. It might be Greenwich Vil - lage, Logan Circle or Silver Lake, any of the urban neighborhoods across America where gays, feminists, punks, greens, rappers and activists crossed and consorted. e places where the music and drug scene, political movements, and the sexual revolution were quaking long before the waves radiated to places colonized by Walmart and Applebee's. For suburban teens growing up in the 1970s and '80s, the alt weeklies were a passport to the vibrant and mysterious adult scene happening just a few miles down the interstate. e alt and underground press of the early 1970s "opened my eyes to a world I knew nothing about and wasn't part of," said Dan Kennedy, a longtime Boston Phoenix writer who became a journalism professor. "e counterculture of music and left-wing politics — those were appealing to me. ey gave me a wider perspective, albeit a left-wing one." Patricia Calhoun, who still edits the alt weekly Westword in Denver 40 years after she founded it, says she started the publication "with the premise that Denver was a more interesting city than the mainstream media made it seem and that it would be easier to start a paper than to get a real job." She now reflects: "We were right about the first part, but not the second." At their peak, Calhoun says, alt weeklies served as a kind of community bulletin board for their young readers. Copious entertain - ment and restaurant listings were a staple early on. e classifieds were today's neighborhood email lists. Need a roommate, a bass player, a girlfriend? Go to the dense black type in the back pages. "If you wanted an apartment in Chicago in the early 1980s, you had to get the Chicago Reader the minute it came out," she said. Over the years, alt weeklies evolved from their shaggy roots to incorporate the consum- erist innovations of "city" magazines — the lists of best hamburger joints and bars and such. But their innovations were in turn co-opted by the mainstream. Newspaper writing became more discursive and narrative-driven, aping the style of the long stories that anchored each alt-weekly issue. Often, the journalism that alt weeklies produced was top-shelf. e Voice published columns by its co-founder, Norman Mailer; jazz and media criticism by Nat Hentoff, and the muckraking work of Wayne Barrett, who chronicled the rise of a brash New York real estate developer named Donald Trump. e Phoenix's music critic, Lloyd Schwartz, won a Pulitzer for his work in 1994. e L.A. Weekly's Jonathan Gold won one in 2007 for restaurant criticism. And after e Washington Post had to give back the Pulitzer it won for a fabricated story by Janet Cooke in 1981, the award went to . . . Teresa Carpenter, a writer at the Village Voice. Given their attention to the new and over - looked, the scrappy papers could play an out- size role as tastemakers. e most famous and perhaps most important piece of rock criticism came from one of them — Jon Landau's 1974 column in the Boston Real Paper in which he declared, "I saw rock and [roll's] future and its name is Bruce Springsteen." Landau's critique became a promotional prop for Springsteen's record company and is widely credited for boosting him to mega-stardom (a year after publishing his piece, Landau became Spring - steen's manager and a co-producer of his breakthrough album, "Born to Run"). As the alt weeklies have faded, their jour- nalists have seeded large parts of the media landscape. Among others, MSNBC host Chris Hayes started at the Chicago Reader; New York Times writer Mark Leibovich and the New Yorker's Susan Orlean came from the Boston Phoenix. e alumni from Washington's City Paper include Jack Shafer of Politico, Jake Tap - per of CNN, Erik Wemple of e Post and the late David Carr of the New York Times. (Long ago, e Post stocked its new Style section with writers plucked from the weeklies, such as music critic Richard Harrington and TV critic Tom Shales, another Pulitzer winner.) It's too simple to say that the Internet under - mined the alt weeklies, but it largely did. By the late 1990s, they had begun to lose their lucra- tive classified ad base to Craigslist and other free sites. Chain stores invaded cities, blowing away a cadre of local alt-weekly advertisers. anks to social media, the remaining mom- and-pop shops in town could soon self-adver - tise, bypassing the City Papers altogether. e revenue drain was devastating. A more nebulous question concerning the fate of alt weeklies is the one posed by Kennedy, the journalism professor. "I can remember many heartfelt conversations when I was at the Phoenix [from 1991 to 2005] where we asked ourselves, 'In what way are we really alternative?' Because it wasn't really clear any more. We knew in some ways that the Globe was to the left of us." Westword's Calhoun isn't troubled by that existential matter, however. "It's our goal to keep corrupting the youth of America into the pleasure of reading and questioning authority," she says. "We still think we're winning at that." Marc Fisher and Hank Stuever contributed to this report. PAUL FARHI Washington Post Media Reporter. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly.com. (910) 484-6200. As the alt weeklies have faded, their journalists have seeded large parts of the media landscape.

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