Man oh man. What shocking news it is to hear that the local alternative paper, The Alt, is shutting down operations. The bi-weekly Alt Weekly was an attempt to fill the gap left by Metroland, another local alternative weekly paper who ceased operation after 38 years in January 2016. Instead of innovating the medium and adjusting to today’s norms, editor David King attempted to resuscitate what had gone belly up just months prior. The Alt raised $400,000 amongst Overit Media, the Daily Gazette and Proctors, assembled a few journalists, and then repeated history and now they’re dead*. Just weeks after winning best local newspaper in their own poll!
I consider myself a local news nut because we curate our content for 2BD partly based on what’s happening in the local news. So I’m always scanning the local airwaves, tuning into our friends at Fly 92 and WGNA, and I even sometimes enjoyed reading The Alt because they did employ a few stellar journalists. But most of the time it was a quick scan for potential sponsors before using the paper as a fresh liner for my car’s floor mat if I’m being honest. I mean, you gotta savior your car’s newness somehow.
Now let me be clear, I’m not naive to the importance of print journalism. I spent a day with Rex Smith, editor of the Times Union, earlier this year and I learned a lot about the dwindling newspaper industry. Including the fact that less than 20% of Americans get their news from a paper. BUT a majority of all “real” investigative reporting is done by newspaper journalists before getting chewed up and spit out by other local mediums like the evening news, radio, and of course, Two Buttons Deep. Papers like the Times Union and the Daily Gazette are very important to our democracy, that’s not news. But people don’t like reading them anymore, that’s not news either.
But you see, this is why Two Buttons Deep exists, and this is why The Alt is the first of many torches to burn out in the local media game. We understand social media and we understand how to make #content AKA video, the king of content. We’re adapting with the times and we’re having fun doing it. The fact The Alt could burn through almost a half million dollars is mind blowing. I can’t even imagine what 2BD would accomplish with that $$$ considering the fact we started with a slim $0 and we’ve still generated double the following they have, along with over 10 million views on our content in 2018 alone.
The numbers we produce are nowhere where I want them to be, and we have a lot of work to do ourself to get there. But I believe in our content, our team and the area in which we are doing it, and if nothing else, it’s a glimpse into where Two Buttons Deep will be in 5 years…Alive and well.
*they’re being resuscitated again by Proctors and will now be a monthly magazine. Because if there’s anything more relevant than newspapers in 2018, it’s magazines…
Two Buttons Deep is a news & entertainment website based in upstate New York.
We don’t just post the news, we post stuff worth talking about…