It’s no fresh news that True/Slant was bought by Forbes Media a few months ago. That purchase, though unclear at the beginning, pretty much intuitively meant the end of True/Slant. It meant the end of a great idea in independent journalism and the end of a community, which truly felt like a community of professional writers who had been invited to gather in one place to write about what they liked to write about most. It was a rare thing in today’s journalism world, total editorial freedom. And I think this freedom, when granted, births some of the best writing out there. The writers of True/Slant were able to use their minds, to investigate, to invest creativity into the blog posts we put up on our sites. It all worked, and under the thoughtful guidance of those running the start-up, we did pretty well, each month increasing our visits and garnering more and more comments from readers.
The best part for us writers of course is that True/Slant also paid us each month to write what we wanted to write. Financial responsibility in today’s writing world is virtually unheard of, but we were paid and paid on time. Though the amount was nothing to write home about, and nothing to buy a home with for that matter, it did help. It was enough of a boost each month to remind me that writing as a craft, journalism as a craft, can be rewarded in the current marketplace. And it was a reminder that when writers are paid to do their work, the quality of the work survives as well.
But that seems like history now. It was an idea, a great one that worked for a time. As True/Slant transition/expires, I will not be one of the writers headed to Forbes. Forbes, alas, does not have much of a need to hire an arts and culture writer and, as an arts and culture writer, I am not sure Forbes would be the right kind of place for me either. In signing off from The Culture Spoke I want to thank everyone who read this blog, those who stumbled upon it while Googling something they heard about, and those who read it with any kind of regularity. All readers are welcome readers in this day and age. I am not sure where my digital writing career goes from here, but I will continue to pursue writing essays as a freelance journalist, and I will continue to write fiction. Thanks again, and thanks to everyone at True/Slant who made this happen. It was great while it lasted.