Thanks to last week’s copy of Creative Loafing, I found an alternative journalism fellowship I plan to apply to. It offers a $3,000 stipend, plus travel to Chicago and room/board expenses. With that, I could continue to pay off my current rent for those two months plus live for a few months in a city I’ve only been to thanks to the air route between Florida and Michigan.
With the spread of Creative Loafing and the decline of traditional papers, working at an alt-weekly is presenting itself to be an intriguing option. I have a feeling niche papers like Loafing are going to grow in the next few years while traditional papers that are cutting local coverage and focusing on AP and wire reports are going to feel the squeeze even more.
Plus, alt-weeklies hire innovative, young journalists while I’ve seen a few papers in my region depend too much on journalists who are quickly becoming dinosaurs in an online world.
And, speaking of young journalists, one of the best writers to come out of USF’s Jschool just had an interesting article published in the St. Pete Times, where she works as an editorial assistant. The Times is one of the few papers I read that seems to be zooming into the future quite nicely.
Does anyone outside of the Tampa area care about the restaurant she writes about? Probably not, but this is the kind of story I look for in the paper. Most people I know get international and breaking news from the web and count on papers to offer local news that relates to their neighborhoods.