When the San Francisco Bay Guardian announced its closure after 48 years this October, much was unclear besides the suddenness of it all, and the tragedy of this loss to local media.
The news came just as the Guardian's popular Best of the Bay issue, its 40th, hit newsstands. That arrived without mention of the end of the publication or a proper farewell. It wasn't even known whether the weekly paper would be able to maintain its digital archives.
Now, thanks to crowd-sourced donations we'll have some closure from the beloved paper. The modest $25,000 (by San Franciscan standards) goal has been successfully raised.
According to the campaign, the money will allow former staffers to "Create a final commemorative edition that celebrates our history, explores what's happening to San Francisco and how that led to the Guardian's closure, and says goodbye to our loyal supporters and readers." It will also "Preserve and enhance public access to our print and online archives," and "Explore the possibilities of reopening the Guardian under new ownership and support other independent, progressive media outlets in the Bay Area."
Though the successful fundraiser is called "Save the Bay Guardian," it won't "save" the publication we knew... just give it a bit of the dignity and legacy it deserves. Nonetheless, Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, a former SFBG staffer now of the SF Examiner, is heartened. "Let's keep in mind that progressives, more often than not, don't have a lot of money," he told SFist. The Guardian reaching its goal shows just how much the city of San Francisco cares for its progressive voices. The SF Bay Guardian was and is a special newspaper, unafraid to take on the rich and powerful. More than ever, that's what San Francisco needs."