'Citizen' R.I.P.

My friend and colleague James Reel noted on Facebook that he "sheds no tears over the demise of the Tucson Citizen. It should've been taken off life support years ago."

I agree with the second part of that statement. Heck, in our very first Get Out of Town! issue back in December 2003, I wrote that it was time for the Citizen to go away due to its freefalling circulation and ever-diminishing voice. As much as I value editorial voices, and as much as I adore some of the folks who toiled for the afternoon daily, I can't deny the numbers: The circulation of the Citizen at the end was down around 17,000, which is half of what it reportedly was (33,000) when I wrote that Get Out of Town! blurb 5 1/2 years ago.

However, I disagree with the first part of James' statement: While the market dictated that it was time, the Citizen's demise is still a rather sad event.

Forgive me if I sound kind of new-agey when I say this (and I am not generally new-agey), but I believe that newspapers carry a sort of energy, due to all of the hard work and creativity that goes into them. Think of writers and reporters crafting carefully constructed pieces; photographers using their skill to get the perfect shots; designers developing graphics, layouts and advertisements that are works of art in and of themselves; advertisers crafting creative campaigns to appeal to readers; and so on. The result of all this effort is something unique and special with each and every issue—and when this creativity and its resulting energy is snuffed out and ceases to exist, well, that's sad.

Here's to the Tucson Citizen, and all of the folks who worked there.

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