SurfaceCity : Weekly Dig & Other Writing

I started copyediting Boston's Weekly Dig in February 2000, and began to write for them a few months after that. Every Sunday I would spend 10-12 hours in a Chinatown loft, staring at a computer screen (paper was scarce so I read articles on screen instead of printing them, which of course lessens accuracy) working for free. Listed below is what I've published with the paper.

phoenix chainsThere is a myriad of mediocre publications (weekly, biweekly and monthly ) in Boston, ranging from Boston Magazine, which packages its reporting so it fits the upscale-suburbanite view of Boston, to Stuff@night, which is little more than a vehicle for nighlife advertisements, separated by an event calendar, fashion spread and minor-league celebrity gossip, and whose self-given shorthand name, S@n, when spelled out is only one letter away from Satan.

The Boston Phoenix, which started decades ago as a free weekly alternative paper known as Boston After Dark, has recently started to emerge from the "everything to everyone" period it went through in the mid-to-late 1990s, when it would come as no surprise to find articles about Creed, the Libertarian Party and a $30 a plate restaurant like The Vault in the same issue, and return to its liberal roots.

There are still some overly-ambituous stories that the Phoenix runs that give the impression that it's trying to compete with the Globe and Herald, and it still on occasion publishes whiny, insipid editorials, some of which sound like they were lifted from a Rush Limbaugh radio broadcast. For instance, Nader bashing was a favorite sport around election time; another editorial attempted to justify the acquittal of the NYC cops who shot Amadou Diallo. But, when viewed in context of the Boston publishing scene, it (along with the Improper Bostonian) tends to stand out from the drivel.

Undoubtedly, the Weekly Dig has the smallest circulation among the above-mentioned publications. But it's worth mentioning that the Dig isn't backed by a local media giant like the Phoenix Media Communications Group and operates with a largely unpaid staff.

There are also a number of small-circulation neighborhood papers which stick largely to covering on neighborhood issues, and while they may appear less-than-professional at times, the retain a loyal following and often report on issues that the larger dailies ignore.

Weekly Dig
My writing that has appeared in the Dig


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