Dan Savage was not exaggerating the problems faced by alt-weeklies in recent years.
From The Tyee last week:
The crew at the Georgia Straight wrote until the bitter end, filing stories and chronicling Vancouver’s culture after the paycheques stopped flowing and the printer stopped running.
Martin Dunphy’s 32 years at the iconic alt-weekly ended with a 17-minute Zoom call, where he and the dozen-odd staff were unceremoniously fired as a new publisher bought the paper from its bankrupt owners. …
Left behind are Dunphy and his peers, who are owed thousands of dollars each in severance, vacation and unpaid wages with no clear way to recoup the cash.
“When I started at the paper, it was a few pages and we didn’t know if we’d get paid,” said Dunphy, whose first job at the Straight was selling copies of the paper on the cobblestone streets of Gastown for beer money in 1973. “And it ended the same way.”
The Tyee itself is a remarkably good journalistic enterprise that I’ve done my bit to support (should do more, though!):
We’re an independent, online news magazine from BC founded in 2003. We’re devoted to fact-driven stories, reporting and analysis that informs and enlivens our democratic conversation. Our reporting has changed laws, started movements and garnered numerous awards and the respect of our peers and readers. While some journalism gives the last word to power, we try to give the last word to ordinary folks.
Since 2009, Tyee Builders have pitched in to hire extra reporters, boost our coverage of provincial and federal election campaigns, and help grow The Tyee while other newsrooms shrink.