Gannett dumps Tucson Citizen bloggers

CitizzenSince about June 2009, the Tucson Citizen hosted community bloggers in place of its print edition. Jonathan DuHamel was one of them. Last year, his Wryheat blog had 488,242 unique hits. Apparently, that’s all gone now, said DuHamel.

The Citizen bloggers, who loyally shared their talents with the Southern Arizona community and freely provided content to the Citizen, received only this email message from Jessie Menard of Gannett:

Jan. 31, 2014

Gannett Co. Inc. announced today that will become a site for the archives of the Tucson Citizen. More than 200,000 articles dating to 1993 will be free and searchable.

The Tucson Citizen, which ended its print edition in 2009, has been a web site compendium of blogs written by local citizens and provided links to Gannett news content.

“We are pleased to continue as an important community resource for Tucsonans, who want to research the history and traditions of their city,” said Kate Marymont, senior vice president/news for the Community Publishing Division.

The redesigned archives will be available in several days.

Gannett and Lee Enterprises Inc. will continue to be partners in TNI Partners. Lee publishes the Arizona Daily Star.

DuHamel asked Anthony Gimino, who had taken over from Mark Evans, if this meant that Gannett was dropping the community bloggers. Gimino replied, “We are all out, including me.”

Gannett gave them no warning. However, when Mark Evans jumped ship to take over Inside Tucson Business, another soon-expected-to-be-dissolved tabloid in the Wicke publishing family, nearly everyone knew that the Citizen would be gone. Most expected its demise to come before the end of 2013.

Evans had taken over ITB from Dave Hatfield, who jumped ship initially for a position within the Pima County government. Hatfield ended up instead with the Airport Authority, reportedly leaving room in the vast Pima County Public Relations department for one more refugee of pulp.

The Tucson Citizen, under the leadership of Evans, had devolved into a mish mash of mostly ideologues, who had nothing but time and a computer on their hands. The value, according to Evans, was the SEO the Tucson Citizen brought to the table, due to the original content uploaded on an almost hourly basis, by those anxious to share their thoughts for free.

The content did not to have any literary or social value, according to Evans. As a result, excellent writers, like DuHamel, Gimino, Andy Morales, and Carolyn Classen, were sandwiched between an angry atheist, who could bash the faithful on a daily basis with reckless abandon, and Dee Dee Blasé, who used the Citizen to create the illusion that she speaks for all Latinos.

For years, the City of Tucson thrived due to the exposure brought by the competition between the Arizona Daily Star and the Tucson Citizen. The two newspapers offered different perspectives and acted as the Fourth Estate constantly shedding light on inner workings and sometimes bad dealings of government officials. When the Tucson Citizen went out of print, the Arizona Daily Star lost its need for a competitive edge. That loss and the increasing use of the internet for information and the increasing cost of pulp, forced the Star and other publications to began laying off true investigative reporters, like the Star’s Rob O’Dell.

Due to the replacement of investigative reporters like O’Dell with political pundits, pulp is taking its hit across the county. The Arizona Daily Star is down to a skeleton crew and like the Star, most newspapers are barely staying alive on Sunday coupon insert revenue, car dealer ads and public notices.

Editor’s note: American Daily Independent News Network is constantly seeking citizen journalists to join our network. We do not pay for opinion… everyone has those; however, we do pay for quality reporting in our continuing effort to shed light on the government officials, who are supposed to represent us. If you are interested, send a writing sample to

Jonathan Duhamel can be found here regularly at the Arizona Daily Independent and also at his blog Wry Heat.



  1. The content did not to have any literary or social value, according to Evans – and everyone including Evans has an opinion – if folks read it it’s valuable. Discussion in non-agreement healthy – knowing what the next guy thinks intelligence… and it’s lots of fun. I liked the CFP when the Star was running that – it evolved to StarNet and then they killed it with Facebook. Now there’s maybe a hand full of comments on occasion and of no real social value. Not many posting here, talking to the bytes – but maybe there will be more soon.. now that would be fun.

  2. The Tucson Citizen has finally ended up where it has belonged for years. In the trash. Gannett and Lee would do well to take the Star with them. I’m not even sure I believe the obits any more.

    • Tucson Daily Citizen articles, obits, etc. are archived by but you need to subscribe to Ancestry to read them. I find them a valuable source of genealogy info.

  3. the Citizen I think was more victim to being the ‘afternoon’ paper in a computer age – the ‘red’ star – alive and on life support – in a ideoliberal city – hey folks (including me) still like to read a paper (i’m old) when eating some eggs’n bacon at a counter – last time I bought one was before my mother’s passing, she could still read a paper in her late 90’s.. haven’t bought the star since – haven’t had the need for fish wrap.

  4. Never got into that Citizen much; people said it was more conservative than the Red Star but I never could see it. I did see some obvious liberal news media coverups and slants.

    I still think a print paper would do well if they used a balanced take on the straight news and relatively equal amounts of editorial sides. It’s never been tried in this town so we really don’t know.

    The Red Star edits it’s columns and changes their titles so even the few conservative columns they have are not the whole thing. You to look up the original. And of course the straight news is heavily censored and slanted.

  5. Hope someone comes up with an alternative location. I like reading the “Mining and You” articles by David Briggs and Jonathan DuHammel’s “Wry Heat” articles.

  6. I agree that DuHammel’s “Wry Heat” is a keeper, but before the last shovelful of dirt gets thrown on the Citizen corpse (or is it ‘corps’?), mention should be made of the late Hugh Holub and his excellent blog. I owe his “Baja Arizona” a debt of gratitude in several regards; chiefly, breaking the “Fast & Furious” story to us locals within days of the murder of agent Terry. He never said who his informant was, but that person (s) certainly knew from where they spoke, not that justice – irony – has been done, but the truth of this event cannot be hidden. Plus, we can continue prayers for Holder & Co to burn in hell.

    As for DeeDeeBlase – ha ha ha!

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