Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Public radio stations acquire and will revive Gothamist/DCist/LAist

In a fit of pique last fall, the Gothamist web publications (I really liked DNAInfo, which the group acquired) were shut down ("DNAInfo and Gothamist shut down after vote to unionize," New York Times).

Wired Magazine reports that three of the publications, in DC, LA, and NYC, are being revived ("GOTHAMIST LIVES, THANKS TO A BOOST FROM PUBLIC RADIO").

The loss of DCist didn't bother me much. I haven't looked at it regularly in years, not because of "bad articles" but because the commenters are so puerile it bugged me.

But the loss of local news sources that are reasonably decent is always a bad thing. More recently the Baltimore City Paper shut down, the Village Voice in New York City stopped publishing a print edition, the Washington City Paper was sold to a local businessman, the Current Newspapers of Northwest DC are going through a bankruptcy-related reorganization, and newspapers in Quebec, Key West, and New Zealand are being shifted to digital offerings for some or all of what had been print editions.

In the DC area, an equivalent group of online publications comparable to Gothamist started in Arlington County, called ArlingtonNow (ArlNow).

They expanded to other communities, but eventually shut down the DC versions and sold off the Bethesda Now site to Bethesda Magazine, which at the time I thought was pretty novel, especially for a magazine known more for "service journalism" and less for hard news.  They also have a website for Reston, RestonNow.

Public radio stations: WNYC in New York; KPCC in Los Angeles; and WAMU in Washington; have bought the respective Gothamist properties and the entire archive will remain on the web, supported by those publications.  I don't know why the NPR station in Chicago didn't pick up DNAInfo Chicago...

Interestingly, this is in keeping with some of what I've written about public television and public radio increasing their local news focus, at least in some cities, as the Internet has decimated local newspaper operations ("Voting vs. civic participation | elections vs. governance," 2016).

... and I am still behind in writing about WCPO-TV in Cincinnati, a for profit television station owned by Scripps Media, which has the most extensive digital operation for local news of any local television station in the US.

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