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RIP Window Media/Washington Blade

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by forever_town, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    The Washington Blade is now no more.

    Just last month, the gay newspaper in Washington, D.C. celebrated its 40th anniversary.

    I can recall when I'd secretly picked up and read copies of the paper before I came out of the closet. I've picked it up and read it many times in my days since coming out. I even interviewed for a job there one time. Whenever I'd get my hands on it, I'd look for certain things in it: News stories, opinions, event listings, The Bitch Session.

    I once wrote a letter to the editor in which I criticized Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) for partisan behavior. Two weeks later, he'd responded in writing. I've had other letters published. I even was quoted for a photo poll once. In all the years I've known about it, its presence was sort of a comfort, like I knew I could count on it being there every Friday when it hit the stands. Now, like so many other newspapers in this country, it's gone.

    It shut down today with the rest of Window Media, which was the largest publisher of newspapers serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. I read in a story on (ironically enough) The Washington Times Web site mentioning that The Washington Blade's editor said he and the rest of the staff would begin a new employee-owned newspaper starting tomorrow.

    I made sure to pick up what would become the paper's last issue today. Ironically enough, emblazoned on the front page was a story that promised to be the first in a two-part series on the climate facing gay students at Georgetown University after a student was attacked. No one knew then that the issue they were putting to bed that previous week would be their last.

    It may very well be that the new venture will somehow succeed. More likely, it will either struggle to get off the ground or it will end up stillborn. Even if it succeeds spectacularly, it will feel as though a large piece of my lifelong journey toward getting a better sense of myself has just been snatched away from me, from the community as a whole.

    It was always sad to see papers large and small shut their doors. This one hit way too close to home.
  2. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    What really sucked for me was reading how employees had to go in and clear their stuff out. The editor at another Window Media property arrived at her office to find the locks had been changed and a note announced the paper's closure.

    Just when you think it can't get worse, we get another kick in the gut.
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