Recently, alternative newspaper The San Francisco Bay Guardian was shut down by the San Francisco Media Company after a 48-year run; the San Francisco Media Company also owns publications San Francisco Examiner and the SF Weekly. The company also shut down The Guardian‘s website and Facebook page, as well as closed away its archives.
Because of how sudden this was, former staff and supporters of the publication ran a rally last week across the street from the San Francisco Media Company’s headquarters. There has even been an indiegogo campaign to create a final commemorative issue for the paper, as well as preserve their archives and more helpful opportunities.
The Campanil understands the outrage of losing one of San Francisco’s longest publications. At the same time, we recognize multiple underlying fears from this particular situation. We have to wonder several questions: What will be the fate of independent newspapers? Will their only chance at survival be through major publishing firms and their funding? And with funding, can we trust them to have those papers’ interests?
Importantly, is there hope for the printed word in a digital age? Will people still care about newspapers in the future?
According to an article on people.power.media, The San Francisco Bay Guardian’s closing was “due to declining advertising revenues among other factors.” There could be many reasons for that “loss,” but it still opens the question about the digital age in print journalism. The Campanil expresses that concern because digital media has replaced newspapers, particularly through the Internet.
Although there is an uncertainty with answers, The Campanil acknowledges one of newspapers’ biggest incentives: to tie a community together. As a student publication, we know that the Mills community has to take a part in our newspaper by reading our issues to learn what is happening at Mills and in Oakland. Through this action, there is an investment to not only us, but to Mills as well.
Although times are pulling us in a digital era, there are still opportunities to have a career in journalism, whether it is through television, radio or even through the Internet, especially if it is something that you are passionate about. Importantly, there can and will still be an excitement about journalism, even with print. Overall, The Campanil believes in a hopeful future for not only The San Francisco Bay Guardian, but for journalism as a whole.