Now that it is public news that Marl Evans, Editor/Administrator of The Tucson Citizen is moving on to become editor of Inside Tucson Business, I want to wish Mark all the best in his new endeavor. I don’t say “good luck”, because he doesn’t need any luck, Mark is very good at what he does, and that’s all he needs. Mark’s last day at the Tucson Citizen is two weeks from now, September 20, and he begins his new duties as Editor at Inside Tucson Business September 23.
I also want to thank Mark for making the Tucson Citizen a better place, a better place to read local opinions, and a better place to express our local opinions as a blogger. And that was no easy task for Mark. As the “Why Blog at TC.com?” page explains, almost anyone can blog at the Tucson Citizen, as long as they live in the Tucson metro area, and/or write primarily about issues of interest to southern Arizona. From that Why Blog at TC.com page: “Citizen journalists and bloggers at TucsonCitizen.com are independent writers and TucsonCitizen.com, Gannett and the Arizona Daily Star have no control over what they write or how often they write” – as long as we follow a few common sense rules – like don’t libel, plagiarize, or violate copyright protection. And of course no profanity or obscene material.
That policy resulted in many excellent bloggers at TC writing about local issues, including UA and high school sports, local dinging and food markets, community food banks, animal shelter news, Medicare, and much more. The Tucson Citizen also invariably attracted political bloggers, including myself, advocating for Democratic candidates and progressive issues, and folks like Fort Buckley, who advocated for Republican and conservative issues. The political blogs tend to generate more comments, probably because local non-political blogs result more in “thanks, that’s good to know” reactions, while political blogs tend to result more in “you leftist libtard!” and “you fascist Teapublican!” reactions. I wish we had a more respectful dialog with regards to political issues, but we are a free society, and the Tucson Citizen is a very free blogging site. Don’t like the political bent of a TC blogger? Then start your own blog.
Finally, I want to point out a statement in the Tucson Sentinel article that particularly stuck out for me:
“It is well known in Tucson journalism circles that any reporter who works for Mark becomes a better journalist,” said ITB publisher Tom Lee in a statement.
That’s about as good a compliment for a journalist I’ve ever read, and I know it to be true. While we bloggers here at Tucson Citizen certainly aren’t “journalist”, I believe I am a better blogger for having worked with Mark. When I started blogging in early 2012, I was very partisan, and if I made a mistake (and I did, more than once) and posted something that was taken out of context or not fully verified, Mark did not hesitate to jump in the comments and point that out. I’m still partisan, but I like to think I’m more careful and factual, thanks in large part to Mark.
Farewell, Mark, and all the best. We’ll be watching for great things to come from your new venture.But I do hope you’ll come back from time to time and continue your Caveat Lector blog, it is always an excellent moderate, independent voice on the issues.