04 November 2010

Say nice things about the Current Newspapers!

I frequently refer to articles in the Dupont Current, because they're the closest of the Currents to my home. This community newspaper, based in Northwest DC, publishes four editions (the aforementioned Dupont, as well as the Foggy Bottom, Georgetown, and Northwest Currents). They do amazing journalism, digging deep into stories and getting facts that are difficult for bloggers to take the time to find, and that papers like the Washington Post simply ignore.

Others cite the Current's reporting as well, but we all complain that the content isn't available in a format that's easy to link to. The paper is placed online in PDF format, sometimes weeks after initial publication, so it's hard to get their stories out to a wider audience that doesn't have access to the hard copy.

That said, it's important to stop and take a second to appreciate the amazing work they do. Erik Wemple wrote a great story about the Current in the Washington City Paper a couple years ago. I also wanted to share this note that was recently posted to the Shaw listserv by Joesph Martin, an ANC member in Ward 4:

At last night's ANC 4C meeting, someone raised the question of why ANC 4C's monthly newsletter is inserted in the Northwest Current as opposed to other small newspapers.

Answer: Other papers have not bothered covering ANC 4C's meetings on a monthly basis.
We asked the Northwest Current to be distributed to all ten, single-member districts. The Current agreed. We asked the Current to consider including the monthly, ANC 4C newsletter in its first, monthly, weekly edition. The Northwest Current agreed.

No other small newspaper offered itself as a vehicle for getting our monthly newsletter to all ten, single member district.


When I first got on ANC 4C, I routinely emailed ANC 4C agendae to The Afro, Washington Informer, the Hill Rag, etc.... I am not even sure if I notified the Current Newspapers in those early days. I probably did not, to be honest. I was not as familiar with the Current as I was with the Intowner, and I knew the Intowner did not cover Petworth.

There was a time when the Hill Rag covered ANC 4C. I seem to recall the City Paper covering ANC 4C from time to time. Once The New York Times ran an article that quoted me, Gable Klein (current DDOT Director, then at Zip Car) and Dan Tangherlini, then DDOT Director under Mayor Anthony Williams.

National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" included a piece on ANC 4C in a weekend-edition, post Katrina report about whether or not DC would be ready for a major emergency.

If the national press can find their way to covering ANC 4C, what's stopping any local media outlet or blogger?

Two thumbs up to the Northwest Current for taking the trouble to cover us every month for the last few years.

Note to any blogger, media outlet or DC newspaper: What's stopping you from coverage ANC meetings? Take your pick. We're all over the District of Columbia. If you agree with those who think ANC stands for All Neighborhood Cranks and can't be bothered, I might even agree with you - for a moment.

The Current is an amazing community asset. If you live in one of the areas they cover, count your blessings!


  1. I do always read the HillRag's ANC meeting summaries for Ward 6.

  2. Wonder what's stopping them from going online?

  3. How do you make money selling add space unless you can promise that your readers will physically see the adds?
    With .pdf they can.


You can be curmudgeonly too, but let's try to be civil and constructive here, ok?