Hello from Philly

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

General Manager John Murphy and I and our colleagues from the Sacramento and Chico News & Reviews attended the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN) national convention in Philadelphia during the past four days. I like these conventions of like-minded journalists because they’re inspirational, and I can bring nuts and bolts stuff back home to Reno that’ll help us put out a higher quality product. At least, that’s my hope and the hopes of the ownership of this company, which pays through the nose so we can fly across the country to attend workshops and get hammered with people we only see once a year.

One of the most interesting sessions was a session on auxiliary publications that put some crazy thoughts in my head. Mash that up with the widespread belief among alternative weeklies that the era of the daily newspaper is ending (or at least changing radically), and afterward, there was a moment of gnosis, a revelation, that I’m kind of looking forward to the apocalypse.

Now combine those concepts with the membership meeting. I stood up for my respected colleagues at Las Vegas CityLife. CityLife had been denied membership into our little club twice before—despite the fact that the quality of their journalism had been recognized by the membership committee. The issue that kept them out was that they’re owned by the daily newspaper. It occurred to me that papers like City Life are particularly at risk when their daily paper metamorphoses. Conversely, they are also peculiarly positioned to step up to fulfill the responsibilities of journalism should the daily fail without having killed the weekly in its death throes.

New York Times columnist David Carr told us Saturday morning that anyone who says they know the future of journalism is lying, but I’m not lying when I say the future is going to be a wild ride.