Thursday, February 4, 2010

Portland Sentinel Closes

The Portland Sentinel, a monthly publication in Portland, Oregon, will close after publishing its March 2010 edition. The Sentinel has a monthly distribution of 27,000, and was formerly known as the St. John's Sentinel. Publisher Cornelius Swart made the announcement on the paper's website.

I regret to announce that the March Street Edition of The Sentinel will most likely be our last. It’s an awkward way to announce this sort of thing. As publisher, there are thousands of readers, hundreds of businesses, scores of writers, activists and dear friends to consider. How does one impart this kind of news to everyone in a way that is fair? This is what I’ve come up with:

Last year was trying for most North Portland businesses. But for the past two years, the Sentinel has seen a steady decline in advertising revenue. This decline represents both the impact of the recession and the challenges of running an advertising-driven business in today's media-saturated environment. At present The Sentinel is 100% print advertising-driven, and it is now clear that we can no longer provide services to our readers and advertisers at our current level of quality. I hope I speak for all Sentinel contributors when I say we have worked exhaustively to provide the community with accurate, high-quality, professional news in a multi-media, interactive format. We hope that this paper served as a useful provider of information, an engaging tool for public discussion and a source for amusement and insight.

For the past two years, I and others involved with The Sentinel have been exploring the feasibility of a nonprofit business model, which at present remains undetermined. Currently, The Sentinel is considering a project to put all of the paper's archives online and in a format that is easily accessible to the public. However, this project cannot be completed without funding.

The Sentinel website will continue to provide daily service through the end of March 2010.

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