As ridiculous as this will surely sound to those of you who just occasionally read the Dig or didn’t realize that we’ve been in business for two decades, I have spent about half of my professional life at this paper. I’ll spare you the flashbacks, though, at least for now, since my objective at the moment is to give you some exciting news about the future.
I apologize for keeping readers and contributors in the dark about the fate of the Hub’s lone remaining alternative weekly. Since longtime publisher Jeff Lawrence stepped down late last year, the crew of us that remains has been in limbo in a few areas; we’ve still been cranking out consistent content from our news pages to our arts sections, but we’ve also slowed down in our online, social media, and print output while we take stock of the company.
On the business side, I am thrilled to say that I am working with a group, which includes investors and longtime Dig employees, to officially take over operations. The process is difficult, not to mention an enormous sacrifice for those involved, but progress is already underway, and I have never felt so energized. I promise to keep you all engaged and updated as soon as there’s more information to share, as we will need the continued help of everyone from our contributors to community members to make this work. In the meantime, to assure you that I tend to follow through on media commitments when I make them, here are some heartfelt words that I wrote for Columbia Journalism Review in 2013:
I plan to play a part in keeping alt ideals alive. I recently teamed with DigBoston, where I started my career in 2004, to convene a gang of young dissidents … I’m uncertain of what will come of our efforts in the longer term—if the appetite for passionate reporting will eventually erode entirely, or if we can carry on tradition, and sound a trumpet to arms. Wherever this trampled road takes me, I’ll use [alt media historian David] Armstrong’s wisdom as a compass:
When one underground enterprise succeeded, all the others were strengthened. . . . This did not only benefit activists. The public benefitted, too, from the much greater availability of new visions and values, which broadened the political, cultural, and spiritual options of millions. . . . Without [the alternative press], the counterculture and the New Left would not have taken root and flourished.
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.