These are frightful days to be dabbling in print journalism, what with everybody being broke and the interweb offering a free alternative that tends not to stain your hands.
But Richard Andrews, proprietor of the local political blog Real Deal, has decided to climb onboard with the debut of his free monthly print newspaper, The County Reporter. This, despite cautionary tales supplied by the recent demise of The Independent, plus this newspaper’s own storied legacy of shoddy craftsmanship.
“I think there is still a space for print in today’s communication mix,” Andrews reassures us. “It’s not as large as it used to be, and you have to be astute in how you exploit the opportunity that is there.”
He ain’t kidding. The Reporter’s first issue features a prominent article about the local for-profit charter schools run by White Hat Management. The story touts the schools in reverential terms one might reserve for a house of worship or a particularly righteous guitar solo from Yngwie Malmsteen. But the article overlooks the company’s track record of bribes and corruption.
The same issue of The Reporter also features two full-page ads for White Hat’s schools, a purely coincidental twist that illustrates the paper’s astute exploitation of its opportunities, or whatever he said.