Mahatma Gandhi famously said that we must be the change we want to see in the world. As Greater Cincinnati’s leading media voice for change and progress, we’ve tried to live those words at CityBeat.
Our world has changed a bit since this paper debuted 15 years ago, and we’ve played a role in changing it. The back and forth has been fascinating to observe and difficult to steer.
CityBeat was in the middle of two recent historic elections, endorsing Mark Mallory for Cincinnati mayor and Barack Obama for president while the city’s mainstream media backed their opponents. In fact, Obama carried Hamilton County, the first Democratic presidential candidate to do so since 1964.
We’ve advocated equal rights for all citizens and agitated for major changes in how our community treats those of minority races, religions and sexual orientation. One of my proudest moments at CityBeat was helping push the successful repeal of Article 12 to remove the city’s anti-gay stain.
I’m equally proud of our vocal stands against police brutality earlier this decade, both before and after Timothy Thomas’ death and the subsequent riots.
We’ve supported every effort over the years to improve the local public transit system, though bureaucrats and voters have often disagreed. As lifestyle trends swing around to bring residents, especially young adults, back into the urban core, attitudes are changing — and Cincinnati’s streetcar line is on track to become a reality.
I could go on and on recounting our support for progressive causes, organizations and people, but space is limited here. I’ll save further lists for our 15th anniversary issue this fall.
As we’ve worked to change the world, CityBeat has changed as well. Like any business, we’ve tried to be proactive: adopting new technologies to deliver information, from e-mail newsletters and blogs to Facebook and Twitter; finding new opportunities to interact with you through events, festivals and sponsorships; and the never-ending battle to upgrade computers and software.
The current financial climate has thrust further change upon us — and we’re doing what we can to stay afloat in this economic storm. At the same time, we’re proactively reorganizing the company to position us for growth when the storm subsides.
You’ll notice some changes immediately: the smaller physical size of this week’s print issue, for instance, and shuffling of content (Porkopolis takes over the lead Voices space in the paper next week to replace my and Joe Wessels’ columns). Other changes will take time to implement and become meaningful.
Despite all the changes over the years, CityBeat’s readership now is as strong as it’s ever been. And I remain convinced that our call for change is as necessary as ever.
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