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With the shutdown of LAist and sale of LA Weekly, is hyperlocal news a dying trade?

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An employee sits at her desk.

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Former “O.C. Weekly” editor Gustavo Arellano says the alt-weekly is dead after a “dark autumn” of outgoing hyperlocal publications.

Arellano points to a long list including NYC’s “Village Voice,” Seattle’s “The Stranger” and “The Baltimore City Paper,” and argues that the “slow, pitiful death” of alt-weeklies is ultimately self-inflicted and a bitter end to what should have endured through a younger, sharper generation.

Arellano himself resigned from the weekly after being asked to layoff half his staff, with echoing fallout from LAist and L.A. Weekly.

But if the landscape is really changing, is there more fault coming in from aggregate sites like “Yelp” or Google ratings? If you’ve given up on reading weeklies, why? Or if you’re an avid supporter, what keeps you thumbing through local news and reviews?


Gustavo Arellano, former editor and “¡Ask a Mexican!” columnist of O.C. Weekly; he tweets @GustavoArellano

Sue Cross, executive director and CEO of the Institute for Nonprofit News, a consortium of journalism organizations promoting investigative reporting and public service media