By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Why Mark returned to the Phoenix

Mark Jurkowitz, whom I replaced as the Boston Phoenix’s media columnist in 1994 — and who, in turn, replaced me when I left the Phoenix earlier this year — explains why he thought the Phoenix was a better outlet for his work than the Boston Globe. An excerpt:

JURKOWITZ: Everybody’s got a theory about how to fix the slumping newspaper business, which has the feel of a dying Rust Belt industry these days. First and foremost, print journalism has to remain reliable. But I believe it also needs to evolve to provide readers with more attititude and personality, a little more spit and vinegar and a little less perfunctory “he said, she said.” In the end, I figured that much of good media writing, like good sports writing, is about argument — starting arguments, making arguments, and occasionally even ending arguments. The alternative press is simply more conducive to arguing.

Among other things, Jurkowitz’s take on the importance of the alternative press is why you should be worried about this week’s news that the Phoenix-based New Times chain plans to merge with the Village Voice and its assorted weeklies. Tim Redmond of the San Francisco Bay Chronicle has a good analysis explaining why this merger should not pass antitrust muster.

The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies is tracking coverage of this disturbing, long-predicted development.

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  1. Anonymous

    I was in Google news when I came across the Poynter Jurkowitz post and I had to do a doubletake : is this a cached older post when Mark made the transition earlier??? Sure enough, it was an Oct25th post date.I like Mark’s humility in not mentioning it in his own corner. (Dan a cooperating conspirator here?? kiddin’)I hope he enjoys the gig better and will have more leeway, a more grateful audience and still no mortgage worries. (remember guys, a ‘very good reporter’ told us he actually lives in a mansion…ha)I do hope he “find[s] his blogging voice” sooner than later. He obviously a great pick to do the MediaLog or any media critic gig but my feeling has been that he is probably too busy with regular duties at the Phoenix in pursuing columns there that he does not have the luxury to devote more time to be blogging more, ie posting earlier in the day, posting on more subjects, interacting more and pursuing some of the more behind the curtains stuff he is more privvy to. More local media scene subjects would be very welcome – there are tons of stories there.Today, his blog started early and how about this, we have multiple subjects today….Good luck to Mark!N.

  2. mike_b1

    I, for one, wish print media would stick to reporting of facts; skip the “he said, she said” except where truly germane. We don’t need more arguments, “more attititude and personality,” more “spit and vinegar.” Don’t we get enough of that on talk radio, MSNBC, CNN, etc.?

  3. The Emerson Avenger

    Mark Jurkowitz said – “The alternative press is simply more conducive to arguing.”I certainly won’t argue with that. . . ;-)The following links go to publicly available news reports “arguing” about a Canadian Unitarian “church” and it’s intolerant and abusive fundamentalist atheist “humanist” minister. This now retired/resigned UU minister arguably committed psychologically abusive clergy misconduct which represented a flagrant breach of the UUMA Code of Professional Practices and arguably made a complete mockery of most UU principles. Rev. Ray Drennan’s anti-religious intolerance and related abusive clergy misconduct was, and still is, tacitly condonded and even arguably endorsed by the Unitarian Church of Montreal, the Canadian Unitarian Council, the UUA under Presidents John Buehrens and William Sinkford and the Ministerial Fellowship Committee under Rev. Diane Miller and others. The Unitarian Church of Montreal is still paying the price for its evidently negligent, arguably complicit, and definitely punitive responses to my legitimate grievances. run a Google search on the “Unitarian Church of Montreal” and “Rev. Ray Drennan” for more info. A Google Groups search wouldn’t hurt either. Try “unitarian church”. . . Other search engines such as - will find some web pages that Google doesn’t index very well. . . My very public “critique” of the Unitarian Church of Montreal and the greater UU religious community’s condoning and effective endorsement of Rev. Ray Drennan’s demeaning and abusive behavior, and of the subsequent injustices and abuses that resulted from the negligent, complicit, and clearly punitive (towards the victim that is. . .) responses of the Unitarian Church of Montreal, continues.

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