I was reading an article in my local paper this morning on a vote by the City Council on authorizing the DPW to move forward on pursuing a $2M recycling grant. The reporter who wrote the article has been covering the council for a few years now and does a pretty great job.
I always appreciate her coverage but whenever I read one of her articles, I find myself thinking that it can’t be too much longer before she moves on to some other media outlet in a bigger market that pays better. That has happened with a whole string of local reporters on the municipal policy and politics beat here in town over the fifteen years that I’ve lived here.
That reminded me of an Ezra Klein op-ed piece I read in the New York Times a few days ago about the apparent demise of Pitchfork at the hands of its corporate owners.
As I have noted elsewhere, I am on the fence regarding the degree to which these shifts in the media landscape represent a direct threat to culture and taste-making. However, I think Klein raises a good point in his op-ed about how the loss of small and mid-sized outlets like Pitchfork mean that the opportunities for writers and journalists are now shrinking even more quickly than they already are.
So while I can maybe be blasé about Pitchfork and its music critics no longer being around, I feel much less sanguine about the elimination of small media outlets and news/current events website in general. It means even less local news coverage than we have already, and fewer opportunities for writers and journalists to make a living outside of a small number of huge, corporate-owned platforms, and that really sucks.