Editorial: Editors of The Baltimore City Paper, we salute you

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD | November 2, 2017

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In 1977, former editors of The Johns Hopkins News-Letter founded a small publication that was dedicated to covering the arts and events in our city with an alternative perspective.

First called the City Squeeze and then renamed The Baltimore City Paper, this free alt-weekly became an integral part of the Baltimore news community.

On Wednesday, after 40 years since its founding, The City Paper published its final issue. The Baltimore Sun Media Group bought the paper in 2014 and earlier this year announced that they will be shutting the paper down.

As editors of a fellow local publication, we are deeply saddened to say goodbye.

The City Paper has consistently provided Baltimore with a critical, humorous and much-needed investigative perspective on our city. The paper was an indispensable resource for  Baltimore’s art community by showcasing the works of everyone from local DJs to famed Baltimore filmmaker, John Waters.

The Paper’s political coverage has offered a sharp and inquisitive perspective to the  inequalities and injustices that have long run rampant in our city.

Their writers have consistently sought out the voices of those ignored and cast aside by our current media coverage.

In this way, The City Paper occupied a unique place in Baltimore for decades.

With local media outlets closing across the country, community journalism is more important than ever.

Beyond its weekly coverage, The City Paper has served as a springboard for aspiring journalists in our city. Many News-Letter writers and editors started out their careers at The City Paper. It was there they learned the essentials of writing compelling articles and more importantly, offering a compelling perspective.

Without The City Paper, who will take on this role? Who will give everyday Baltimoreans their voice?

As a fellow independent publication, we cannot imagine the pain of watching something you worked so hard to build and that meant so much to others slip away.

The loss of The City Paper reminds us that we cannot take for granted the articles we enjoy every week. Good journalism isn’t free.

We can talk a lot about the corporatization and consolidation of media but we can rant about that on another day. Today, we remember The City Paper.

In the last Best Of Issue by The City Paper, Editor Brandon Soderberg perhaps captured our sentiments best:

“I truly hope something steps in and fills this void, because without Baltimore City Paper, the landscape here for news and reporting is very grim and more PR-ish, and the cops and developers and art scene cornballs and corrupt politicians and other clowns get to run even freer than they already do.

We should try and not let the assholes win, even though I suspect they’re going to win anyways, fucking hell.”

Let’s be real here for a sec. The closing of The City Paper fucking sucks.

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