Posted by Carolyn Classen
It was like a sudden death attack on January 31, 2014 when Gannett Publishing shut down the online Tucsoncitizen.com. There was no warning to our paid Administrator /Sports Editor Anthony Gimino or us twenty-some bloggers/citizen journalists. It just happened and all we got was a curt email from Jessie Menard at Gannett, with a "thank you for your participation" sentence. But we had been on “hospice care” for several months with frustrating interference from the RSS Feed, misdirecting or blocking access to the site. Complaints to Gannett were not listened to, even from our Administrator, and there was little or no tech support.
I had been one of the earliest bloggers at that alternative news source, starting up on June 18, 2009, since I had been a “My Tucson” guest columnist in 2008 for the print newspaper. The Tucson Citizen newspaper ceased publication on May 16, 2009, laying off an entire newsroom of 65 reporters and editors.
From June 2009 to January 2014 I have written over 1550 blog posts, which were “exported” to me via email from Gannett after the shut down, for me to download (somehow) to a WordPress file, within a month. I’m not even computer savvy enough to know how to do that.
After the shut down, numerous articles were written about the demise (with some praise for me):
Inside Tucson Business – by former Tucsoncitizen.com Administrator Mark B. Evans, former Asst. City Editor at Tucson Citizen newspaper
Tucsonsentinel.com – by Dylan Smith, former Online Editor with Tucson Citizen newspaper:
and a discussion on Bill Buckmaster’s radio show (also a Tucsoncitizen.com contributor ) on February 7, 2014, with Mark B. Evans and Dylan Smith, aforementioned.
Farewell Tucsoncitizen.com. It was a fun and rewarding experience for over four and a half years, to be able to write with passion about a diverse number of community topics and events. Many citizen journalists joined us and left, many stayed over this entire period of time. I’ll miss reading their stories and contributions, and wish that Gannett had chosen to retain some of these posts online. I liked to read Ernie McCray’s reflections “From the Soul”, Karyn Zoldan’s passionate “Tucson Tails” alerts about animals/pets, and of course Anthony Gimino’s accurate reporting about the Arizona Wildcats. Archives of earlier Tucson Citizen newspaper articles are online right now.
As for me, I’ve decided to join the “good guys (and gals)” here at the progressive blogsite Blog for Arizona. Founder/attorney Michael Bryan “made me an offer I couldn’t refuse”. I’ll be continuing to follow the upcoming political campaigns and elections of 2014, and write about community events and groups. So I will still report on “our sense of group togetherness and community”, which is what I started up at the Tucsoncitizen.com as “Carolyn’s Community”. Blog for Arizona here I come!