BOSTON (CBS) – The news that financial pressures have forced the closure of the Boston Phoenix hits hard at a personal level.
Listen to Jon’s commentary:
In my four years as the political reporter there from 1989 to 1993, I worked alongside great writers and editors, all under the unflagging support and unparalleled freedom supplied by publisher Stephen Mindich. I loved every minute of it, and hearing of its demise is like learning your first real girlfriend has passed away.
But the end of the Boston Phoenix isn’t just a sob story of weepy baby-boomers mourning the demise of some outdated relic. Even if you never read the Phoenix, if you consider yourself a Bostonian, its loss affects you.
Diverse communities that thrive on the life of the mind need diverse voices that help create a thriving dialogue, and for better or worse, that is what the Phoenix has always delivered. Its death is one more loss of traction on the slippery slope toward a culture where 140-character tweets pass for commentary, and no one bothers to seek out unconventional wisdom or opinions contrary to their own.
In my time at the Phoenix, I wrote about law enforcement abuses, unscrupulous mortgage lenders, and a never-ending stream of duplicitous, dishonest and outright corrupt politicians. I’ve been lucky to work with great journalists before and since, but never with more pride than I took from being part of Boston’s alternative newspaper.
Hopefully, someone or something will fill the void the Phoenix leaves. All of us should shudder to consider the alternative.
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