ATN Is Dead, Long Live ATN: as Kathleen says, did anyone read ATN much? Still, it blazed some kind of trail and maybe us amateur hacks owe it something for that. I’m more interested in the news that it’s hiring Simon Reynolds to do a hopefully regular column – frustratingly, a lot of Reynolds’ best recent writing has been for printzines like Uncut and unavailable online.
But every time I checked out ATN lately, it seemed a bit clunky and out of date compared to the irreverent, cliquey, funny amateur online zines. I think cliqueiness and elitism are good things – making readers work a bit for their crit fosters the kind of sense of kinship which mass-circulation offline zines have always struggled to achieve, though in the case of the UK weekly press, their reputations depend on it. The last UK weekly to really foster a loyal, cocky core readership was Melody Maker in the early 90s (a magazine which as plenty of people have noted has been a massive influence on my site, though I’d be flattering myself if I thought it was anywhere near as good) – since then it’s all been bluster and arrogance.