This piece was done for for a local "alternative" tabloid called Brick back when Pete Humes was the Editor. I'm not sure how it qualifies as being alternative though, I believe it's supported by Media General, which puts out the local Richmond Times Dispatch and apparently 24 other daily newspapers. In fact They're a media conglomerate with interests in broadcasting and interactive media and who knows what else. My guess is like everyone else these days they're experiencing financial difficulties. One look at the paper and you'd think so. It unfortunately has little to offer in the way of real substance, it's full of trivial unnecessary information and lots of photo's of young people partying. I thought that's what Facebook and Myspace were for.
I don't mean to criticize the people who put the paper out week after week, I'm sure they're under staffed, underfunded and work very hard to meet their deadlines. I know that when Pete was putting out the paper he was lacking any meaningful support from Media General. It seems to me that this "alternative" paper is just a cynical ploy on the owners part to collect ad revenue. Unfortunately they don't seem to understand a basic rule of the marketplace, if you're going to ask people for something, in this case the advertisers, you need to give them something in return and that would be a paper worth picking up. If Media General really wants succeed at this they need to take a long range view of what they. want the paper to be and then give the staff the financial backing to achieve that goal.
After all is said and done though there's no escaping the insidiousness of a corporate conglomerate pretending that they have a sincere interest in putting out an "alternative" paper. I think people are smarter than that.