There was a time, from the late ’80s into the very early 2000s, when they did some genuinely good journalism. When Steve Perry ran it, before he went full-bore crazy partisan with the Minnesota Independent (which, true to its name, depended for its existence entirely on progressive plutocrats with deep pockets), the CP did some useful journalism – the kind of stuff you didn’t have to agree with, politically, to see the merit.

Those days were over 15 years ago. The likes of Mike Mosedale, Dan Haugen and Aaron Rupar pawned whatever legacy the CP’s earlier incarnations had earned, and pawned it very very cheap.

So last fall, when the City Pages oozed to its final, unlamented (outside navel-gazing journos) end, I tried to play it straight down the objective middle: they had had a good run, for a decreasingly talented group.

Some people just can’t take a karmic hint:

The much-loved Twin Cities alternative paper City Pages shut down abruptly last fall after its parent company the Star Tribune Media Company said it was no longer financially viable.

Now several former City Pages editors are launching a new digital news publication called Racket that officially launches August 18.

I “much loved” the final incarnation of the paper mainly because it was a boundless font of material.

Jay Boller:

We want to fill the void that City Pages left, which we feel is considerable… Bringing that legacy into the future is the mission statement.

The “void” the CP “left” was smaller than the void when it existed.

There’s a real reader demand for a type of news that doesn’t really fit the boilerplate definitions of what a newspaper sounds like. … It’s to check power balances. It’s to keep institutions on their toes, including other news organizations. And just kind of being that pesky force that is beholden to no one.

I get what they’re going for – that was this blog’s motivation, and still is.

But “check power balances?”

If The Racket is anything like the City Pages in its past decade and change, it will be yet another yappy little junior partner of the the media we currently have.

Like it needs any more.

9 thoughts on “Void

  1. In the past two decades, most major written publications (newspapers and magazines) switched from ad-based revenue to subscription-based revenue.
    The result has been high ideological conformity. All advertisers want is eyeballs, individual subscribers want to see their existing beliefs confirmed.
    The people behind Racket surely know this. I suggest that the name Racket is not ironic and their is really only one subscription level: “Mark.”
    I wonder why they didn’t use the Substack model?

  2. Struck me reading that “real reader demand” quote/paragraph that some might think the Racket is going to be conservative or right-wing… but nah, AlphaNews is already there along with @CrimeWatchMpls (others?). Two organizations that don’t really fit the boilerplate definitions of what a newspaper sounds like, that check power balances (whatever it means), that keep institutions on their toes, including other news organizations, and are just kind of those pesky forces that are beholden to no one. Hey!!

  3. Following the karmic hint link, I notice that MPR is asking for a $17 “gift”.

    I’ll pass, I only give gifts to those I like.

    But then apparently, the Racket wants gifts too.

    And so does Quillette, PJMedia, NetFlix and Hulu. All of these gifts act upon one’s checking account like leaves in an autumn breeze. When is someone going to do the obvious and bundle them up and sell a single subscription………kinda like cable?

    I guess the problem is, like cable, you have to pay for the rot of CNN, MSNBC and 85 “Better Bra” channels, along with what you like.

    Alas, modern life is so confusing.

  4. My problem is I want reporting but I keep getting journalism.

    A reporter tells me who, what, when, where and why. A journalist tells me that, and also tells me what she thinks about it, and so should I, if I wasn’t such a hater.

    The mainstream media hated it when Rush parodied them saying: I not only tell you the news, I tell you what to think about it. But he was right.

  5. Much-beloved and yet it failed financially. Hmmmm… Beloved by whom, the editors?

  6. Well, I don’t know about beloved, but they were free. The ads were handy when finding some place to go eat, drink, dance, be entertained. I am quite probably one of the very few people who ever subscribed. For the ads. Because I/we didn’t work where they were available.

  7. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 08.03.21 : The Other McCain

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