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February 27, 2009


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Beautiful elegy.

I remember when The Arizona Republic was a good newspaper and how vital it was to our sense of community and purpose. Now, it could expire tomorrow and I wonder if anyone would notice.

If it's any consolation, this story is being written about newspapers everywhere. It's disturbing to think if the survivors will be able to deploy their shrunken resources around the globe. Of course, for the local metroplexes (say, the Valley), local TV news will fill the gap with car crashes and backyard pool drownings.

As with so much else about local ecologies, the loss is hardest for those whose memories and roots go the deepest. Maybe the McNews is all most citizens really need nowadays because they're not really citizens in any meaningful sense so much as consumers. But to know a city in its irreplaceable details is to love it in a way happy-talking news anchors could never fake. Maybe this is the story that the Gannetized press couldn't write because it's about places that were functional specifically rather than generically. Maybe the death of local journalism is just another aspect of that loss.

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