Yesterday, Sept. 25, was my last day at the Bohemian and Pacific Sun. After four and a half years, I'm leaving my position as editor and hanging up my newspaperman's fedora. Well, sort of.
I've taken a job at Harvester Clothing Co. in Sebastopol, where I'll be writing and curating stories of compelling people and places from Crescent City to Oaxaca in support of made-in-California apparel.
I'm excited for this new chapter in my life, but I will miss the privilege of reporting on life in the North Bay, particularly at this fragile time in our nation's history.
The Bohemian and Pacific Sun will be in good hands. Gary Brandt, who has been with the Bohemian for 17 years and has worked on more than 800 weekly issues, has been promoted to managing editor and will be responsible for shepherding the papers to press. Charlie Swanson will take on an expanded role as arts editor and producing digital content. News editor Tom Gogola will have an expanded role as well, as he expands the Bohemian and Sun's coverage of local issues, public affairs and investigative journalism.
As a 20-year veteran of news business, I've long believed in the value of a free press. With our democracy teetering on the whims of a venal and ignorant president, I don't think it's hyperbolic to say the press and the ballot box are all that stand between us and Tweet-powered authoritarianism.
With the contraction of the media landscape, I also believe independent, alternative journalism is more critical than ever. The Press Democrat, Napa Valley Register and Marin Independent Journal all do fine work, and we're lucky to have them. But democracy thrives on a range of voices and the willingness of journalists to go where daily newspapers can't or won't. The Bohemian will continue to go there to tell the stories we think need telling.
It's been a privilege to serve as editor of the Bohemian and the Pacific Sun. Thanks for trusting us with your stories and, most of all, thanks for reading.
Open Mic is a weekly feature in the 'Bohemian.' We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write firstname.lastname@example.org.