"Something has changed in the last year or two," Slate's Ron Rosenbaum says of Entertainment Weekly founder turned professional conference-goer Jeff Jarvis. "It's the callous contempt for working journalists that grates. It's a contempt for the beautiful losers." True, it's puzzling to watch new media pundits spit in the faces of all the sad, doomed newspaper reporters whose careers are being eroded by the Internet. Rosenbaum goes way longer than Slate ever lets me write, so I've pull-quoted his best 100 words:
Yesterday's news that the alt-weeklies Chicago Reader and Washington City Paper had been sold to Creative Loafing, which owns a few alt-weeklies in the Southeast, left some people a little puzzled—especially employees of both papers, who didn't seem aware in the slightest that their publications were on the block at all. Over on the Reader's website, commenters are debating what it means that Creative Loafing bought the paper; the general sentiment seems to be cynicism and wariness of an outsider company buying their beloved Reader. So what does the sale portend for the state of alt-weeklies in this country? Is Creative Loafing emerging as the only viable national competitor to Village Voice Media?