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The Citizen bids adieu

By Robert Dickson
Our efforts to find a successor to take on this newspaper have not borne fruit, so this will be the last issue of The Carrboro Citizen. This is one of the most gut-wrenching decisions I’ve ever had to make.

This little newspaper has succeeded beyond our wildest imaginings. In five-and-a-half years we’ve become part of the fabric of our community. You’ve told us over and over you trust and respect what we write.

Honest and straightforward journalism has defined our efforts. Our goal has been an informed citizenry, because we know that better information makes our community a better place to live. We think we’ve made a difference.

Back in the fall of 2006 when I muttered those fateful words (“Carrboro needs a newspaper”) in Jock Lauterer’s community journalism class at UNC, little did I know what an amazing time was ahead of me.

But here we are six years later with 7,500 newspapers flying off the stands every week, writers begging for more space and more emails than we can count coming in every day about stuff our readers think we should cover. Amazing, indeed, for a startup newspaper in this digital age.

Our regular staff deserves special thanks for bringing you this newspaper. Susie, Taylor, Rose, Marty, Anne and Duncan have worked various parts of the past five years to bring you The Citizen. Susie and Taylor have been here since the beginning back in March 2007. Taylor’s probably the only person who can claim to have read darn near every word in every issue.

Our regular contributors also need our thanks. Kirk Ross helped found The Citizen and has continued to pound out weekly columns using his vast institutional memory. And how fortunate we were to have the astounding Ken Moore and Jock Lauterer gracing our front and back pages, Phil Blank’s unique view of our world, Val Schwartz’s community views, Alicia Stemper and Ted Spaulding’s photos and Eddie Landreth’s personal angle on UNC sports.

Thanks as well go to our MILL contributors Mary Sonis, Margot Lester, Ashley Melzer and the Beer Guys from Carrboro Beverage. Kirk contributed his point of view on local food and my partner, Vicky, has covered the literary scene. Your efforts have enriched all our lives. Coyotes, movies, music, beer, food and books – that’s life in Carrboro for you.

Our delivery staff has faithfully and reliably brought the newspaper to your favorite location through the worst weather central N.C. has to offer. Delivering newspapers is hard work, but Wendy, Mondo and Chuck have done a great job.

All of these folks should feel great pride at what we’ve accomplished. They’ve been underpaid and overworked, yet always willing to do more. I thank you all, and I know our readers do as well.

We’ve also had wonderful support from a long list of advertisers who have understood the value of being seen in their hometown newspaper. A trio of advertisers stands out for their longevity: Carrboro Family Vision, who advertised in all 290 issues; Weaver Street Realty, who made it into all but the first issue; and Cat’s Cradle, who anchored our colorful music page. Weaver Street Market believed we could help them back to prosperity; I like to think we played a part in our co-op’s resurgence. There are so many more who deserve mention; thank you all for your steadfast support for what we’ve done.

For our part, Vicky and I appreciate all the good wishes we’ve received. We’re proud that we’ve been able to bring The Citizen to our community. It’s been our pleasure.

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