Not every newspaper—daily, weekly, alternative, or otherwise—functions in quite the same way that New Times does. It’s a 30-year-old paper with a legacy of an awkwardly intimate relationship with the community it serves, which definitely leaves a mark on all who wander through its pages.
This mark is especially deep for the journalists who crawled into its newsroom and attempted to make a difference in San Luis Obispo. Some of the stories they told burned a legacy into more than just paper. They indelibly changed the lives of the journalists who reported and wrote their hearts out. Stories can carve a hole into the universe, cast doubt, or alter a way of thinking.
They can be powerful. As powerful, intricate, complicated, and thought-provoking as the man who founded this paper. A man I never met, but I’m told I would like. A man who I’ve come to believe was inseparable from the community he loved to cover.
His legacy is intricately woven into the stories New Times continues to write long after his death. We asked some past staffers to tell us about the mark Steve Moss left on them and the stories he pushed, encouraged, and sometimes forced them to pursue.
Read on and reminisce.