Two months after she was fired by the Palo Alto Daily News, Diana Diamond has taken a job with the Palo Alto Weekly as a columnist and blogger. The Weekly has frequently criticized the Daily News for practicing yellow journalism, but in a statement Weekly publisher Bill Johnson and Editor Jay Thorwaldson both said they felt it was important to retain Diamond’s “often controversial voice in the community.”
“Diana and I began talking about something like this since shortly after she left the Daily News,” Thorwaldson said. “We’ve been friends for years, and I look forward to working with her in maintaining her presence in the community. Even though we don’t always reach the same conclusions about community issues, she is knowledgeable, asks penetrating questions and writes thought-provoking columns,” he said. “We hope and assume her columns and blogs will be a catalyst for instructive community discussion on a range of local issues.”
Diamond’s arrival at the Weekly comes as both papers are improving their Web sites to deal with competition from Backfence.com, which has community news and discussion sites in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and is opening a site for Palo Alto. Last November, the Daily News launched a community forum for readers to post comments and discuss issues and a week ago the Weekly created its own forum. Backfence also relies heavily upon reader contributions. Both Thorwaldson and Diamond will have blogs on the Weekly site while former Mercury News columnist Dan Gillmor is already blogging for Backfence.