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Note: This story is more than 3 years old.

From the editor

Two years gone: RIP Citizen

I've got one of those calendars atop my monitor, the type you find in banks, with metal tiles for the days of the week, dates and month.

One side I keep up to date. The other, no matter the date, says "Fri May 15."

That's the last day the newsroom of the Tucson Citizen was filled with hustle and bustle, the last time the talented crew of reporters and photograpers and editors there took stock of their city.

The last time a story was keyed in, a printing plate was burned, the last time a press rolled the nameplate "Tucson Citizen" onto newsprint was for the final edition, which hit the streets for Saturday, May 16, 2009.

Saturday, Oct. 15, 1870 through to that evening in 2009, when the Gannett newspaper chain pulled the plug.

It was a hell of a run, and I value every moment I spent there, in my short time in that newsroom, with those great journalists and a legacy of over a century of fine reporting.

I'm proud I had the opportunity—and responsibility—of working on a daily newspaper; they're probably not long for this world.

Ironically, on the night when the press was to roll to a stop for the last time for the Citizen, a pagination error forced Editor Jennifer Boice to yell "Stop the press!" as she waved a sheaf of newsprint in her hand.

Support TucsonSentinel.com today, because a smarter Tucson is a better Tucson.

She, and so many others at the Citizen, dedicated a career to a great newspaper.

Technology marches on, but quality always finds its home. I hope our work at TucsonSentinel.com—with the support and contributions of a number of my former colleagues—in some way honors the memory of the great reporters who told our city's stories in the past.

In many ways, running a news website is a constant search for the latest: the latest breaking story, the latest bit of technology. Despite my family's long heritage in print journalism, I'm a firm believer in the power of the Internet to inform and inspire like no other medium for reporting.

But the news is a ceaseless pluralization, and not a business always given to reflection.

Tonight, I'm taking a moment for a slow look back. Pulling out a copy of the final edition of the Citizen, the one banner headlined "Our epitaph," and raising a glass to the past.

To my colleagues there, to those who came before us, to those laid off as Gannett and Lee Enterprises and the other chains slash their newsrooms, and to all of those who've watched presses grind to a halt at other newspapers around the country, I offer a much-deserved "thank you."

I'll toast the future tomorrow. Tonight, I'm getting my fingers inky.

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3 comments on this story

May 17, 2011, 7:42 am
-0 +3

My favorite thing about the Sentinel is that it, like the Citizen, does not appear to be committed to destroying the City of Tucson.

Meanwhile, over at the Arizona Daily Sprawl, there’s yet another slanted, manipulative anti-downtown story by Rob O’Dell.  If that’s not your kind of thing, ADS’s two remaining specialties are (1) UA athletics and (2) racist online comments.

Yeah, this town sorely needs an alternative.  Keep on, Sentinel.

May 17, 2011, 7:34 am
-0 +3

Congratulations and thank you, Dylan Smith and the Tucson Sentinel, in taking the heritage and fine ethics of the Tucson Citizen forward into the future…that is the most profound epitaph and epithet.

May 17, 2011, 12:13 am
-0 +4

Nicely said.

It’s nice to look back now and then, when everyone and everything seem to be focused on relentless forward movement (even if that movement sometimes – often? - appears to be movement for movement’s sake).

I admire the work you’ve done in creating and building the Sentinel, and I’m very pleased to be a small part of it.

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Dylan Smith

The end of the last press run of the Tucson Citizen, for the final edition, May 16, 2009