I writing this post with out reaching out to the members of the Baltimore Beat, but to just express my opinion of the ending of the new local newspaper.
On March 6th the Baltimore Beat announced via social media that they are stopping operation due to the lack of advertising support.
"To our readers: We launched the Baltimore Beat in November 2017 in an effort to provide a new alternative, independent journalistic voice to the city. We're proud of the work we've done but, unfortunately, advertising support hasn't been sufficient to sustain us. As a result, we are closing the Beat effective immediately. Thank you to our readers and advertisers and all those who reached out to help. We're grateful for the opportunity and regret that we are unable to continue."
The Beat was created in response of the end of the Baltimore City Paper this past fall. The city lost a piece of representation when the City Paper ended. There is so much more to Baltimore than murder and corruption and it is the independent papers that shed light on Baltimore's very quarky art and music scene. In my opinion the Beat really didn't capture that. I was most disappointed in the news regarding the LGBTQ community as it was pulled from the Washington Blade. I was hoping for a bit more, but I knew it just had to grow which is why it's end is a little disappointing.
If you don't know the Baltimore Beat is owned by the same company that owns the Washington Blade. I used to do a lot of freelancing for the Blade so naturally I wrote about working for the Beat. I got a response from Kevin Naff but it didn't go much further than that. I had very high hopes for the newspaper, I was patiently waiting for more coverage involving our LGBTQ community.
I say all of this to say. The past 3-4 years I have been creating events for the LGBTQ community and I have been a performer in a lot of events and shows. Every time if at all we can manage to get a media group out to our events it is only for photo coverage. There is a huge population of performers out there and we work hard to entertain our community. We are the ones called upon for fundraisers, pride, or what ever and a lot of times we are asked to perform for free (or for tips). I will have another rant about how our community responds to drag performers later but for now the announcement. I want to go out and photograph one show a week and review it. I want to be a source to put names to to faces and to show the experience. You can follow this blog and every Monday I will post a show review. This is one of those things when no one else will do it, I'll do it myself.
It's sad to see another alternative new source go so fast, but if we want representation we got to represent ourselves first. If you or someone you know has a blog or podcast please link me to them. If we can work together to tell our stories then we will not have to wait for another newspaper to come around.