This has been going on for a while - anyone who pays attention to the state of journalism and publishing knows that a lot of even major newspapers have been affected by the rise of Internet news (see, for example, The Christian Science Monitor's decision to go online-only) - but the dot-com boom has particularly affected the state of alternative news media. This is back in my mind, though, because a pretty big name in alternative news, the Boston Phoenix, is shutting its doors, seemingly permanently:
As a Bostonian who has usually been a fan of the Phoenix and thought they provided an interesting, much-needed voice in local journalism, this makes me sad that I'm losing my local paper. But even for those outside of Boston who don't care about this particular paper, unfortunately, their fortunes are indicative for a lot of alternative news sources around the country. Another popular one in my former home of Baltimore, called Urbanite, closed its doors last fall. Boston Magazine has another, longer article on the fortunes of the Phoenix and how it's indicative of issues with other alternative news weeklies around the country.Originally Posted by Boston Magazine
As a writer in particular, this makes me sad because alternative papers have often been a way for beginning writers to make a name for ourselves, get paid and break into the journalism business early in our careers; they often hire people in college or right out of it to write for them. The Phoenix was a big name and I'm not sure if they did that, but if even they are ill-affected by the rise of Internet media, what does that say for the other alternative papers in Boston and elsewhere that aren't as well-known, and have helped so many of us young writers get our feet in the door?