Preserve the alt-weekly

A city publication should reserve its archives for others to learn from.

Last Wednesday Broad Street Media, owner of Philly Weekly, announced that it bought the 34-year-old City Paper after years of competition between the two publications. The alt-weekly will put out its last print issue Thursday.

The news came as a shock to not only readers, but staffers, who were notified through a Northeast Times report.

“It doesn’t make sense for us to compete with ourselves,” said Perry Cor­setti, pub­lish­er with Broad Street Me­dia.

A warning from City Paper told its readers: “If you have any favorite stories, we recommend you save them somehow. Our 30+ years of archives are now the property of Broad Street Media. From what we’ve heard, those might not exist online much longer.”

Thankfully, they were wrong. Broad Street Media CEO Darwin Oordt announced yesterday he was committed to making archives available to the public.

If this archival work is made available to the public, student journalists could learn from the work of City Paper staffers. Philadelphians will be able to revisit beloved stories that City Paper did best—stories of the downtrodden, successful, struggling, fervent, compelling and downright weird. And that’s important.

As a student-run newspaper and—as we’d like to think—a major contributor to Philadelphia media, we stand by City Paper and other alt-weeklies in support of keeping what’s left of City Paper alive.

So, grab the last issue Thursday from those orange newsstands, and with it, remember what is left of print media in Philadelphia.

At this rate, who knows what will be left in a few years.

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