I suppose in principle I shall miss the online presence of the Tucson Citizen. Can’t say I was a constant reader; can’t even say I was an occasional reader.
It appears that Gannett made a five-year commitment to maintain the site, throwing the Justice Department a bone to keep its Pekingese-ish yap shut. The department reviews anti-monopoly events when exemptions to the Sherman Anti-Trust act are involved. Makes it seem like it’s all according to Hoyle, which I am certain it was. The newspaper industry got its Newspaper Preservation Act and anti-trust exemption fair and square: It stomped its sizable foot, splashed ink by the barrel and Congress said aye. Nothing much to be done about it now except to witness the Citizen go the way of the Edsel, Geritol and peace on earth.
It’s sad to think about it. But the act give years ago of closing the Citizen was more like a mercy killing. In those days it was much like Gertrude Stein’s view of Oakland. The story goes that when she was touring San Francisco, her guide pointed across the bay and said, “Oakland is over there.”
Stein shaded her eyes and looked for a minute or two. She said, “There? There is no there, there.” The Citizen then was much like the Star of today, a starving emaciated prisoner of war suffering from scurvy, all skin and bones, most of the life sucked out of it. So Gannet played Kevorkian, thereby saving a heap of money in personnel and newsprint expense. All the more to the bottom line.
Which is what counts. Nothing like freedom of the press without a press. Nothing much at all.