by Coury Turczyn
Over 15 years ago, the earliest issues of Metro Pulse were produced by three very sweaty people in an un-air-conditioned room at the Bijou Theatre. This was the thrilling era of desktop publishing, when a Mac Classic and a black-and-white Laserjet printer opened the gates of publishing to everyone with a yen to make their voices heard. Why, you could design an entire publication on your personal computer, and then print it out! The Revolution was on .
Today, when you can blog your innermost thoughts to the world often faster than you can actually think them up, such an innovation sounds quaint. Likewise, the actual media revolution enabled by desktop publishingâ"DIY papers and magazinesâ"has joined the establishment it sought to shake up. Back in the '80s and '90s, alt weeklies staked their reps on being younger, hipper, and less calcified than daily papers. Now, as they hit their silver anniversaries, the former underdogs of local media are often just as entrenched in their ways as their predecessors.
So, as I begin my new-old gig of editing Metro Pulse , my immediate concern (beyond actually publishing on time) is over how we can make this paper fresh again. And that's why I'm turning to you.
In every sense of the word, Metro Pulse is a community paper. Our content is obsessively Knoxville-oriented, and has often been created by freelancers less concerned about making a buck than they are about bettering the city they live in. Furthermore, the paper wouldn't exist except for the support of locally owned businesses and their advertising dollars. And if you hadn't been picking us up over the last decade and a half, this publishing experiment would have been short-lived.
So, as we enter a new era for Metro Pulse , I'd like to hear your opinions about its current state. For the past seven years, I have been a reader (not a contributor or editor) of Metro Pulse. And, like some of you, I have at times paused mid-way through reading a particular issue and wondered: â“Why did they do that?â” Or: â“How did that get through?â” And, every once in a great while: â“Are they frickin' nuts?!â” Consequently, I have very strong ideas of what I'd like to change and things I'd like to see in the paper.
But what do you think?
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with your favorite and least-favorite elements of Metro Pulse : columns, features, sections, layouts, everything. What makes them valuable to you? Or not worth reading? And then tell me about the stuff you think we ought to be doing or improving. What's missing from our paper? What should be missing from our paper?
I'll consider your input to be friendly advice. It's impossible to create a publication that's all things to all people, and that's not what I hope to accomplish with this exercise. What we aim to do is put together an informative, useful, and even inspiring paper that we and our readers can be proud of. So, before I start mucking with things, I'd like to get a better sense of how the Knoxville community views the content we've been offering and what it would like to see. (Having a message forum on our website would certainly have made such a quest easierâ"look for that feature to return with a revamped Metro Pulse site.)
Likewise, if you have great ideas for Metro Pulse items that you want to contribute yourself, let me know. For the last couple of weeks, we've run in-house ads requesting submissions from creative types of all sorts: columnists, reporters, photographers, illustrators, cartoonists, filmmakers. If you have talents we can take advantage of, then I'd certainly like to hear about them. We offer low pay and high esteem from your fellow citizens. There's just one catch for getting your work published: I've got to really like it. (So maybe we're really a community paper under a benign dictatorship.)
I am prepared: Inundate me with your critiques, your ideas, your pitches. Every missive will be read, if not responded to (please accept my pre-apologies; there's only so much one man can do).
We have an opportunity to create the weekly paper this city deserves and needs, and you ought to be part of this process. So step right up.
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