All work and no playa

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I’m not going to Burning Man this year. In fact, I haven’t been to Burning Man since 2009, nearly a decade ago. And it’s certainly not that I wouldn’t want to go. If you were to show up here at the RN&R office, 760 Margrave Drive, and hand me a ticket and say, “Here’s a free ticket, no strings attached. You don’t even need to write about it,” I’d probably get on the phone right away to find a babysitter and start making plans. (Hint, hint.)

But it’s just such a massive undertaking to find a ticket and make arrangements to get out there—an undertaking that’s especially difficult to arrange with parenting and academic obligations alongside the professional ones.

I had a great conversation recently with Adrian Roberts, publisher and editor of BRC Weekly, Burning Man’s sort of alt-weekly newspaper and former publisher-editor of Piss Clear, an extra snarky version of the same concept. You can read part of that conversation on page 31 and a longer version up on our website,

One thing we talked about that’s not in the print version is this: Like most alternative weeklies, the RN&R’s focus is hyper-local. For the first two decades of Burning Man, we covered the event more than just about anyone. But in the last few years, the event has become more international than ever. So we’ve actually covered it less.

In that time, the Reno Gazette Journal has increased its Burning Man coverage. The RGJ, as you’re probably aware, is a Gannett paper. They do very little local arts coverage because they want instead to write stories that get picked up by the whole USA Today network. And what people around the country and around the world want to read about is Burning Man.

Still, it’s not exactly a local story anymore.