Going Digital

ripA little over five years ago, when Local Rhythms appeared in the Claremont Eagle Times for the first time, I received no money for my work.  The local music scene needed a voice to tell its story, and whether I was paid seemed less important than using my local paper to make that happen.

Now that paper – along with two other excellent publications – has ceased publication after almost 100 years. I shudder to think what a community like Claremont will do without reports of its daily life. Who will tell Claremont’s story?

For that matter, who will tell Newport’s, Charlestown’s, Unity’s, Springfield’s?

A local newspaper is like a community center, a park or a public swimming pool.  Shutting it down ends more than the life of a business.  I read publisher Harvey Hill’s memo claiming “we did our best to continue operations” and can’t help but doubt his words.  I’d love to see some tangible proof of incremental steps taken to keep the paper alive – I can detect very little.

Harvey Hill is shutting down a business – a community is losing far more than that.

For my part, I will continue to write about the local music scene, whether I’m paid or unpaid.

Though I’ve been watching the Internet long enough to know that there’s enterprise in the digital world.  Daily traffic on this web site has grown tenfold since it began.

See you in the ether – or Salt hill Pub, Imperial Gardens, Boccelli’s, Canoe Club, Sophie & Zeke’s, Common Man, Digby’s, Anchorage, Meadowbrook…….

4 thoughts on “Going Digital

  1. I handled Michael’s copy for the last several years at the Eagle Times and it was some of the best writing I edited. (Actually, I never really had to touch it.) It is clear he knows his music and technology and has a passion for promoting the local music scene. The clubs, festivals and musicians he wrote about were grateful for his contributions to the entertainment in the area. I know Michael was one of the most widely read writers we had because the time or two we missed printing his column, we heard about it. On a personal note, I was still in shock upon learning on Thursday that the Eagle was closing when I called Michael to tell him I was submitting an invoice for his work this month but he may not get paid the few hundred dollars he was owed. Instead of yelling or demanding I do something, Mike was more concerned about my circumstances at the moment. Just take care of yourself, he said. Thanks Mike. I and many others are glad you will continue with your column online

  2. With the amazing energy of you, Mike – and others like Dave Clark – the local music scene will be covered better than it ever has been. The area is blessed with many places for new and original music, as well as the established and cover musicians. You and Dave and others cover it all with aplomb, and I hope you can find the niche to keep it going, and become a sustainable and maybe even profitable effort for all.

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