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

Tag: Molly Ivins

The Texas Observer resuscitates itself with a $300,000 infusion

The Texas Observer, a progressive publication that has been covering politics in the Lone Star State since 1954, has survived its near-death experience — at least for now. The Texas Tribune reports that the one-time home of the late, legendary Molly Ivins has raised $300,000, most of it through a GoFundMe, since announcing it would close and is now plotting a path forward.

This is good news, of course. Still, telling your readers that you’re going to shut down unless they respond to an emergency appeal does not constitute a business model. The reality is that the Tribune, a large, well-funded nonprofit that is grounded in reporting rather than ideology, has established itself as the one essential outlet for coverage of politics and public policy in Texas.

I hope the Observer can survive — but if it does, it will be in the shadow of the Tribune.


In the end, the Texas Observer couldn’t survive the rise of digital media

Molly Ivins. Photo via Wikipedia.

The Texas Observer, a highly regarded publication that was once the home of the late, great Molly Ivins, is shutting down and laying off its 17-person staff, which includes 13 journalists. The Texas Tribune has the story and notes:

The closing of the Observer raises questions about whether small progressive publications can survive the digital and demographic transformation of journalism and the information ecosystem during a time of rapid social and technological change.

Indeed, the Tribune, a nonprofit digital startup with more than 50 journalists, would be foremost among the new wave of publications that led to the Observer’s demise.

The Observer had been in turmoil for quite some time. My “What Works” partner, Ellen Clegg, talked about it on our podcast a year ago this week. Click here and go to 29:00.

Nat Hentoff signs off, vows not to retire

Nat Hentoff has written his farewell column for the Village Voice after his unconscionable layoff. Hentoff quotes Tom Wicker’s tribute to I.F. Stone: “He never lost his sense of rage.”

I’ve called Hentoff and Molly Ivins the two best columnists never to win a Pulitzer. It’s still not too late for Hentoff, who, at 83, vows not to retire.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén