By the time you read this, the staff of The City Paper will have likely disbanded, our last issue printed and our website updated for the last time.
We don’t say this to be morose. The media landscape is changing, and our particular model — a free print newspaper with a corresponding free Internet home — did not produce enough revenue to survive. And while we’re not happy about this, we understand that these are the risks that come with being a journalist in the 21st century.
But enough about us. Let’s talk about you.
You live in a city that has had competitive newspapers for much of the past two centuries. Those rivalries have been good to you. They’ve given you choice. Perhaps more importantly, they’ve provided competition, which improved the papers. Even inThe City Paper’s current capacity — our entire staff could meet comfortably in The Tennessean’s conference room, with a few chairs left over — we have been a motivating force, pushing our rival to break news and tell better stories.
And now that pressure will be gone, along with one of your choices. We believe passionately that newspapers — or their work online, we make no distinction here — improve the lives of people. We believe that Nashville needs more professional journalists, not fewer. And as we depart, we urge you to support — indeed, fight for — the continued survival of newspapers. Here’s why.