City Pages, "Before The New York Times, David Carr Learned the Journalism Craft on Minneapolis Streets" David Carr, The New York Times media critic who died two weeks ago, got his start as a journalist in Minneapolis, working for the now-defunct alt-weekly Twin Cities Reader. City Pages talked to many of his friends and co-workers from his days in Minneapolis to get a portrait of the man before he went to work for Washington City Paper and then The Grey Lady. There are some frank descriptions of his drug problem—"There were times where all of us kind of lost track of him, had no idea where he was or what he was doing," reporter Brian Lambert says. ". . . we all thought, in the not so distant future, he would be found dead on some hellhole floor somewhere." It's an honest, but moving, portrait of a man who proved to be influential to many journalists around the country. There's also a song that Carr's friend Paul Metsa recorded about him.
Fast Forward Weekly, "The End of FFWD" Pour one out for a fellow alt: Fast Forward Weekly in Calgary, Canada, announced last week that, after 19 years in print, it will publish its last issue on March 5. "I still think there is a great need for alternative media, particularly in a city like Calgary, where oil and gas rules and conservatives keep winning bloody elections," editor and publisher Drew Anderson writes. "Our readership never dipped, proving that Calgarians are hungry for the kind of journalism and cultural coverage that Fast Forward provides, but the ad dollars just weren't there to support it." He writes that he isn't sure what will happen to Fast Forward's website, so read through its archives while you still can. Start with this interesting perspective on the meaning of gated communities, written by a city planner.
Washington City Paper, "Call and Response" When a stranger sexually assaulted Arts Editor Christina Cauterucci on the street in September 2014 and she decided to report it to the police, she "wasn't expecting much," as she put it. After all, the Metro Police Department (MPD) has a terrible reputation when it comes to dealing with sexual assault cases, a reputation well-deserved, according to a 2013 report from Human Rights Watch called "Capitol Offense: Police Mishandling of Sexual Assault Cases in the District of Columbia." But what Cauterucci "thought would be a simple phone call turned into a full police investigation followed by comprehensive victim support." She details her experiences interacting with the police, and provides a detailed look at the work that sexual assault activists and survivors have done to push reforms that ensure that sexual assault victims will not be revictimized in their interactions with the police.