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You Can Print This: A Case for Analog Media

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The Case For Print 11-15-14.003

On Saturday, November 15, 2014, Newcity editor and co-publisher Brian Hieggelke was invited to address the Arts Club of Chicago as part of its ongoing “Case” series. What follows is a transcript of his remarks.

Back in the nineties, I was convinced that the future was grim for print publications. That the impending digital revolution would be wholly transformative, and that to not do something about it would not only be financial suicide, but would leave me on the outside looking in at the greatest technological, social, cultural, political and lifestyle revolution perhaps in history. So I decided to bet the ranch as they say and pour every bit of profit we made, and every bit of future profit I could borrow, into creating a network around the digital transformation of alternative newspapers, as publications like Newcity were then called.

I logged thousands of miles by plane and by car over those years in pursuing this mission, visiting publications from Vermont to New Orleans and many parts in between. And I frequented many an industry conference in those years, primarily organized around daily newspapers and their digital endeavors. It was a regular occurrence at those conferences, held in the days before tablets and smartphones, for some industry leader to get up and to smugly summarize the irrefutable case for print: You Can’t Take Your Computer Into the Bathroom and as long as that was the case, print would survive.

I could not help but chuckle when I heard this; these folks had such diminutive aspirations for the products they were devoting their lives to. 

A recent study called “IT in the Toilet” found that 75 percent of us admit to using our phones in the bathroom, for calls, texts, social media and so on. Sounds like the core argument in favor of print, as distasteful as it was, has been flushed away by time.

I’ve been thinking a long time about the role of print in a digital world, and hope that my observations today will not be so disposable. Read the rest of this entry »

Robert Rodi appointed Assistant Music Editor of Newcity

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RR2011Newcity is pleased to report that Robert Rodi has joined our staff as Assistant Music Editor. In this role, Robert will take the lead in planning and executing Newcity’s coverage of Chicago’s extensive and energetic live music scene. Robert writes fiction and nonfiction and has authored ten books; he’s published arts criticism in Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, salon.com and Newcity, and blogged about Chicago music for Huffington Post.

He’s also active on the music scene as the host of Robert Rodi & Friends, a monthly jazz jam session, and as the front man of the prog rock band 7th Kind. In December he begins a residency at Uncommon Ground on Devon, where he’ll host a monthly Sunday jazz night. He holds a BA in Communication from Rollins College. Robert is a Chicago native, and lives on the North Side with his partner and a constantly shifting number of dogs. Read the rest of this entry »

Amy Danzer appointed Assistant Lit Editor of Newcity

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Newcity headshot IINewcity is pleased to report that Amy Danzer has joined our staff as Assistant Lit Editor. In this role, Amy will take the lead in planning and executing Newcity’s coverage of Chicago’s literary culture, from fiction to poetry to graphic novels and everywhere in between.

Amy Danzer writes fiction and creative nonfiction, teaches literature and writing at Chicago-area colleges and universities, and manages several masters programs at Northwestern University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Literature, both from NU. When Danzer isn’t working, reading or writing, she is often at live lit events in town, photographing the city, or spending time with her partner and kinfolk. Read the rest of this entry »

Newcity Assistant Editor-Music Opening

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Newcity seeks an assistant editor to work directly with the editor in building on the foundation of music coverage in Newcity. This is a paid, part-time position.

Is music journalism dying? We don’t think so. We think it’s time to roll up your sleeves, make your metaphorical fists, and start a fight with the forces of banality at work in the culture. You know who and where they are.

The ideal candidate would be an exceptional writer and journalist, with a wide range of genre interests coupled with an innate feel for the musical zeitgeist. The ability to craft creative and provocative essays and features, while inspiring the same from a stable of freelance contributors, is paramount. As is an ability to source strong local music-news features. A working comfort with digital and social media are expected; multimedia skills are a plus. Read the rest of this entry »

Why delivering Newcity is the perfect gig in the freelance economy

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One day, usually every other Wednesday, we rent vehicles and deliver Newcity to just under a thousand locations around Chicago and Evanston. The steady, regular work has proven to be a solid gig for several of our longtime drivers who are musicians by trade—with some doing this as long as fifteen years. 

Why does this work for them?

It’s a concentrated (one long day), regular batch of work and income

It’s physical but not unduly taxing, offering a respite from a too-often sedentary life

It’s a way to engage, face to face, with the city around us in a time of increasing digital isolation. Drivers are in and out of vehicles breathing fresh (well, Chicago) air; interacting with shopkeepers and getting to know parts of the city in great detail. 

It’s a way to contribute to a publication you read, with a mission you believe in. (If you don’t, forget the rest: this is not for you.) Read the rest of this entry »

David Hammond appointed Dining & Drinking Editor of Newcity

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Hammond, Paris, 2012bNewcity is pleased to report that David Hammond has joined our staff as Dining & Drinking Editor. In this role, David will take the lead in planning and executing Newcity’s coverage of Chicago’s outstanding culinary and cocktail culture.

David has written about food and restaurants in Chicago and around the world for Chicago Tribune and Chicago Reader, as well as Where Chicago and Chicago Social. For four years he wrote the “Food Detective” column in the Chicago Sun-Times. He produced two seasons of “Soundbites” for WBEZ, and he continues to produce food-focused radio programs for Rivet News Radio. He is currently working on the second cable television season of “You Really Should Eat This” in conjunction with Wednesday Journal, where since 2010 he has written a weekly food blog and weekly print column. David is a lead moderator of LTHForum.com, the 16,000 member Chicago culinary chat site. Read the rest of this entry »

July 3 Issue Early Deadline

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Due to the July 4 Independence Day holiday, Newcity will have special deadlines for advertising. Space reservations are due Tuesday, June 24, with artwork due Thursday, June 26. For questions or to reserve space, email advertising@newcity.com or call 312.243.8786.

Editorial deadlines are all moved up one day as well.

The issue will be distributed on Tuesday, July 1, a day earlier than normal.

 

Matt Morris appointed assistant art editor

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morris_bio image3Newcity is delighted to announce Matt Morris as our new assistant art editor. In this role, Matt will work closely with associate editor Jason Foumberg in planning and executing Newcity’s coverage of Chicago’s contemporary art scene, including exhibition reviews, artist profiles and art news.

Matt Morris is a writer, artist and sometimes curator. He holds a BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and earned an MFA in Art Theory + Practice from Northwestern University, as well as a Certificate in Gender + Sexuality Studies. His writing has appeared in regional and international publications including Newcity, Artforum.com, Art Papers, Sculpture, City Beat (Cincinnati, OH), Alice Blue Review and Aeqai, as well as numerous exhibition catalogues and artist monographs. Read the rest of this entry »

Assistant Art Editor—Newcity

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092012art50UPDATE: This position has been filled.

Newcity’s art section is growing. We are searching for an emerging art writer to join our staff. The ideal applicant is an art fanatic, gallery hopper, museum junky, artist advocate, storyteller and grammar geek. We are an equal-opportunity employer.

The assistant art editor assigns, manages and copy-edits art exhibition reviews, art news, artist profiles and occasional art features for Newcity’s art section. The assistant art editor works independently and with the associate editor to produce bi-weekly content for Newcity’s print and web publications. Adhering to a strict deadline schedule is key for this position. Work is conducted via virtual office. The position is paid and part-time.

Newcity is a biweekly free and independent publication founded in 1986. Our art section boasts the largest and most diverse coverage of contemporary art in Chicago. For more information see art.newcity.com. Read the rest of this entry »

Web Designer Wanted

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Newcity has an immediate opening for a part-time/freelance web designer to work with us in designing for a WordPress platform (Genesis framework experience a plus). Creativity, dependability, accuracy and congeniality are core values to us; if they are to you, you’ll flourish. Most, if not all, of the work will be done remotely. To apply, write to brian@newcity.com and tell me about yourself; send a link to your digital portfolio and let me know if you have minimum pay expectations. Please elaborate on your software capabilities. Do not call. We are an equal opportunity employer.