Aaron Crowe admits that he had an odd feeling Monday, returning to the Contra Costa Times where he was laid off last year as an assistant metro editor. Now a freelancer, Crowe went there to interview the man who laid him off, Executive Editor Kevin Keane, about a story he is doing for Spot.us on the future of Bay Area journalism. After Crowe discusses his conflict of interest, he writes:
- A former co-worker walked by and said hello without stopping to shake my hand or inquire how I’ve been since leaving — and other than that and a quick hello to a friend who works there — Keane was the only other person I talked with. I was nervous and glad to walk out when it was over, and maybe things will be different if I ever return. I’m sure there’s nervousness on both sides.
Much of what Keane discussed with me focused on how he still believes in the survival of print news, and that the online audience that the Times and other Bay Area News Group properties are growing and that both serve different customers. Reliable, local news coverage is its strongest asset and adding more blogs and other ways to reach people online, such as through Twitter, will help spread that news, he said. His main message seemed to be something that I’ used to tell my reporters — that providing quality, in-depth and local news will attract readers no matter what form it comes in.
Here’s the pitch Crowe posted about his story on the future of Bay Area newspapers in a digital age and changing economy.