Alternative Weekly Publications Turn To Pulp

March 26, 2013


Alternative weekly prints are (were?) the younger sibling of big name newspapers. They provided an alternative viewpoint on the news and appealed to the vast subcultures that thrive in developed countries. According to Jack Shafer’s blog on Reuters this is the start of, ”The Long, Slow Decline Of Alt-Weeklies.” Much like the bigger publications, the alt-weekly titles saw plummeting sales with the digital print boom. It used to be and for a little while longer, alt-weeklies were the prime source for personals, jobs, apartments, etc. and while the publishers wanted readers to think it was the alternative views that drove sales, really it was these classified ads. Another big hit to the industry was when the record companies pulled their advertising and the retail stores that used to carry the alt-weeklies disappeared.


They alt-weeklies used to an anti-boredom device, but:

“…even a human fossil must concede that the smartphone trumps the alt-weekly as a boredom killer. How does a wedge of newsprint compete with an affordable messaging device that ferries games, social media apps, calendars, news, feature films, scores, coupons and a library’s worth of music and reading material? Ask a young person his opinion and he’ll tell you that nothing says “geezer” like a newspaper, be it daily or alt-weekly.”


Alt-weeklies are a losing business. Does this parallel the decline of search and retrieval, commercial database publishing, and content management systems. The market just drifts away. Transition periods stink.


Whitney Grace, March 26, 2013

Sponsored by, developer of Beyond Search


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