“Coronavirus Could Be the End of Alt-Weeklies,” declared a Mother Jones headline in March. Around the country, venerable snark-slinging rags have dropped employees or shut down entirely, crippled by cratering ad revenue. C-VILLE, unfortunately, has not escaped the crash. Our staff is a lot smaller than it was just a few weeks ago. (The newsroom had no input in these decisions: If you’re upset that your favorite journalist is out of work, believe me, you’re not as upset as we are.)
After these changes, I’ve become this paper’s editor. Though I wish the circumstances were different, I’m thrilled to take the reins.
I’ve lived in Charlottesville for 10 years. I went to Charlottesville High School, and first fell in love with this town while sitting in the bleachers during Friday night football games. My writing career started down the street at the Cavalier Daily, UVA’s student paper. For the last six months, I’ve been a news reporter at C-VILLE, and in that time I’ve been impressed by how much I still don’t know about this city. There’s always another stone to overturn.
Moving forward, C-VILLE will keep doing what we do best. We’ll take every opportunity to lend our platform to those whose stories have been historically ignored. We’ll listen when our readers reach out, and reflect those comments back like only local news can. We’ll give credit to people who go the extra mile to feed, or house, or organize their neighbors. (That’s what this week’s feature story, a heartfelt twist on our annual Power Issue, is all about.) And hopefully, we’ll do it with a sense of humor.
We’re local journalists—we work for the community. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out. My email address is in the masthead every week, but it’s here too: firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.—Ben Hitchcock