Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Forest talks about the key role played by the gay press in constructing a holistic notion of West Hollywood as a "gay city" and resolving internal tensions and contradictions about the identity of the place. I would say that a principal social function of local media generally is to foster a holistic quality of place, real and imagined, that is the basis for civic life. Problem in a place like Madison is that the place has changed so much so fast in recent years, in terms of both its size and demographic complexity, that mainstream media here are struggling to hold onto a holistic concept of the place without coming across as conservative or even reactionary social forces. So it was kind of amusing when, a month or so ago, the State Journal asked readers to write in with ideas about what makes Madison special and "cool".