As if there wasn’t enough consternation in our lives, Knoxville’s journalism scene has suffered yet another blow–the Knoxville Mercury will cease publication with the July 20 issue. As editor Coury Turczyn summarized in his goodbye announcement, “The reason is pretty simple: We were unable to raise enough money via advertisers, readers, and large donors to sustain long-term publication.”
As readers know, the Mercury sprang from the ashes of Metro Pulse, which was closed in October of 2014 by its then parent company, E.W. Scripps. I had been involved in arts coverage in those publications since 2007. In that time, the Knoxville arts and music scene has grown exponentially, paralleling the amazing revitalization of Downtown Knoxville not only as a center of arts and cultural activities, but as a restored heart of the city itself. I don’t think the fact that those alternative weeklies contributed strongly to that revitalization is lost on anyone.
This site, Arts Knoxville, was created after the demise of Metro Pulse to help ease the loss of arts coverage that the closing represented to Knoxville. As the Mercury sprang forth, I continued to fill in the empty spaces with coverage. Now, the imperative for this seems obvious. Can an arts scene survive without information, conversation, and commentary?
However, I’ll need to hear from readers with their opinions on where arts coverage should go. Feel free to use the comment section on this article or through the “contact” tab to let me know.