The original plan was to use this space to toot our figurative horns about the awards we won last week at the Association of Alternative Newsmedia's annual convention. (We won three; read more online.)
Then came Black Thursday at the Arizona Daily Star, during which 52 people lost their jobs.
Some locals have reacted to these layoffs with some sort of idiotic glee. To anyone who tittered with joy upon hearing about these cuts: You're a freaking moron. A lot of the newsroom folks who lost their jobs covered local business and entertainment. If you think Tucson needs less coverage of bands and restaurants and corruption and business, then you are an idiot. A decrease in people digging around and writing about our community is a very bad thing.
I've also seen some people predicting that the Star's demise is imminent. While deep cuts like those the Star managers made last week may certainly further hasten the paper's downhill slide, the Star still has a lot of readers and advertisers. (If you don't believe me, look at the paper's circulation and online-readership numbers.) It will be around, in some form, for quite a while.
Where does that leave the Tucson Weekly? Well, it makes our job more important than ever. As the Star has slowly hacked itself away, we've launched more coverage of local news, events and culture. Our dead-tree version is as vibrant as it's ever been, and TucsonWeekly.com is getting more traffic than it ever has in its 16-year history, due in large part to our daily dispatch, The Range, at daily.TucsonWeekly.com.
These terrible Star cuts are nothing to celebrate. Meanwhile, we here at the Tucson Weekly remain dedicated to our jobs, our increasing responsibilities, and our bright future.