A conversation about the local news crisis in a time of polarization

I’d like to let you know about a special program coming up on the crisis in community journalism. Titled “The Decline of Local News and the Rise of Polarization,” the event is part of the Masterman Speaker Series and the Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk Law School. It will be held next Thursday, Sept. 29, at 5 p.m. in Sargent Hall, 120 Tremont St., in the Blue Sky Lounge on the fifth floor.

I’ll be moderating, and I promise to inject some optimism into the proceedings. We’ve got a great panel:

  • Joshua Darr, associate professor of political communication at Louisiana State University. Ellen Clegg and I interviewed Darr earlier this year on the “What Works” podcast about his research into polarization and local opinion.
  • Renée Loth, an opinion columnist for The Boston Globe and a former editorial-page editor of the Globe.She is currently an adjunct lecturer in public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
  • Charles St. Amand, practioner in residence in Suffolk’s communication and journalism department and a 31-year veteran of community journalism, most recently as editor of the Sentinel & Enterprise in Fitchburg.

The program is free, but you do need to register. Just click here.

Changing of the guard at ArchitectureBoston

Renée Loth

Congratulations to former Boston Globe editorial-page editor Renée Loth, who’s been named the new editor of ArchitectureBoston, published by the Boston Society of Architects.

Loth, who still writes a column for the Globe, will replace Elizabeth Padjen, a professional architect who’s been running the magazine for the past 14 years. (I had the pleasure of writing an essay for Padjen a few years ago.)

Loth is one of the city’s most accomplished journalists, and this fall will be a Goldsmith Fellow at Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center for the Press, Politics and Public Policy. She’ll assume her new post at ArchitectureBoston in January.

Loth signs off — for now

Boston Globe editorial-page editor Renée Loth marks her departure with a classy farewell. Good to see she’s going to write her new weekly column a short walk away from the Statehouse. Local politics has always been her passion, and her scrutiny will be welcome.

A few pieces of unsolicited advice for Loth: (1) start a blog; (2) use it, along with Twitter and Facebook, to converse with your readers; (3) learn how to shoot and edit Web video. Not only will such activities not detract from your column, but they’ll end up giving you more material than you’d have otherwise.