Dan Kennedy was for many years one of the most artful prac­ti­tioners of alter­na­tive jour­nalism, his work sparkling on the pages of the late and much lamented Boston Phoenix. Paul Bass is one of the emerging heroes of a sort of “new jour­nalism,’’ not the gonzo form prac­ticed by Hunter Thompson and Tom Wolfe — that was so 1970s — but an entirely new genre, lib­er­ated from the printed page and from con­ven­tional adver­tising and seeking to pre­serve old values (and create new ones using the new tech­nology) as the tra­di­tional news­paper struggles.

It wasn’t inevitable that Kennedy, now an assis­tant pro­fessor of jour­nalism at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, would under­take a project cen­tered mainly on Bass, the pre­siding genius behind the aptly named New Haven Inde­pen­dent, an online news site. Nor was it inevitable that the form of this project would be an actual phys­ical book pub­lished by an enter­prise even more endan­gered than the news­paper: an aca­d­emic press.

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