Dec 12 2014
07:21 am

Hard Knox Independent editor J.J. Stambaugh said in a statement yesterday that former Metro Pulse editor Bill Dockery has joined HKI as managing editor and that Frank Cagle will not be working with them after all. He also commented on the Knoxville Mercury launch. HKI also announced they will be launching a preview version of their website today. More in the statement after the break...

Statement from J.J. Stambaugh

From the Editor's Desk,

Hello, folks! I've got several things to report tonight, all of which impact the Hard Knox Independent and those of you who have been kind enough to follow us on Facebook.

First off, I'd like to announce a couple of staff changes. I would like to welcome aboard Bill Dockery as managing editor. Bill's record as a journalist and editor speaks for itself, and as a former editor of Metro Pulse he will bring a wealth of experience to our project. On the other hand, it appears that Frank Cagle will not be writing for us, but that's the nature of our biz.

Secondly, it appears that Knoxville is about to be up to its neck in weekly newspapers. That's a good thing and a bad thing, I suppose, but the bottom line is I cannot help but wish Coury, Jack, and their buddies the best of luck. They are good guys, and they've written a lot of good stories over the years. But we appear to be creating very different products with different aims, financial plans, and values. By all appearances, Press Forward/The Knoxville Mercury is counting on a lot of powerful donors to line up and support them while we are taking a somewhat different road. I am not sure that a newspaper financed by the same people it should be covering is a good idea, but who am I to say? I could be proven wrong. In the end, it's going to be the readers and advertisers who decide what happens next.

It was never our intention to clone Metro Pulse, especially not as it has existed for the past few years. We named ourselves "Independent" for a reason, as that's our guiding philosophy. The simple fact is that, in this era of declining print media and the slow death of truly independent journalism, that a true alt weekly that is divorced from its community's power structure may not be viable. Time will tell.

In any case, we are launching our preliminary web site tomorrow. This isn't our final web page, but rather a way to communicate with you as we build this paper from the ground up and give you some idea as to the kinds of coverage you can expect from us. Over the next few weeks, we will begin to debut columns, articles, and videos as well as introducing our staff. We hope to post something new every day or two, and we hope you'll come along for the ride.

If nothing else, the next few months should prove interesting for our town. In the end, I hope that local journalism and our community will be the better for it.

J.J. Stambaugh

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