Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Today, the Seattle P-I printed its last issue and is moving into a new online-only format. And in only five days, the Tucson Citizen is slated to print its last issue, to--a commemorative issue of the paper's 140-year-history. Every news outlet in Tucson is hurting to some extent right now, along with other industries leaving a trail of layoffs. But this blog on the Citizen's end (wish there was more), brought the paper's end particularly close to home.
For those who have been on a newspaper ride for most of their life, how do you shake your identify as a journalist? I know folks who've easily walked away from the business and have fared just fine in public information jobs or nonprofit work. Others I know recall how odd it was to come to work and want to talk about some news tidbit they heard on the streets, but were treated as if they were gossiping; it's hard to break old habits. Hard to stop getting excited about something you heard or keep yourself from having that gut reaction, "That's a story."
I understand there's a wake being planned at the Shanty on Friday, and there have been online funerary arrangements going on for some time. I'd like to toss back a cold one for the Citizen on Friday--not just for its demise, but for the reporters and editors left wondering what to do next, and what to do with how they identify themselves: JOURNALIST.