It takes a lot to impress me, but I must say, I am today. The former staff of the unexpectedly defunct Washington Blade has come roaring back within less than a week.
On Monday, the venerable Washington Blade was unceremoniously closed when its parent company filed for bankruptcy. Employees were notified with a note taped to the locked office door.
Not to be deterred, the staff met, organized and planned. Before the end of the week was up, they launched D.C. Agenda which went live Friday.
So today, the roles have been reversed and the reporters have become the story. In a press release:
After Monday’s shuttering, 17 former employees vowed to not miss this Friday’s production of Washington DC’s LGBTQ news weekly. Today they delivered on that promise. At 9:30 AM this morning the publication that will replace the Washington Blade – DC Agenda – hit the streets. As demonstrated in the first issue, the new publication provides critical coverage of local and national LGBT issues along with much needed community news.Check out the website at DCAgenda.com.
“The power and effectiveness of the Washington Blade did not die with the name,” said DC Agenda Publisher Lynne Brown, also former Publisher of the Washington Blade and employee of that publication for over 23 years. “That strength actually came from the spirit and intensity of those who wrote the stories and reached out to the community. It’s those same people who are the backbone of this new venture, a group that is the true definition of grit and resilience.”
“It’s been a tough week, but we have been buoyed by the outpouring of support from our colleagues, our community, people all over the city and even beyond DC,” said DC Agenda Editor Kevin Naff. “The DC Agenda represents former Blade employees’ commitment to carry on the important mission and work of the Blade,” said Naff. “We expect this effort to grow and evolve and to eventually include a larger and more diverse group of voices.”
The 17 former Blade staff members, who also celebrated that publication’s 40th anniversary last month, hand-distributed the first edition of DC Agenda on Friday November 20th, 2009 at 10:00 AM EST.
“We thank all those who have taken the risk of advertising in our new venture. We also would like to invite readers to visit our new news website at www.dcagenda.com and our temporary support website at www.savetheblade.com.” said Brown. “We are thrilled with what we achieved this week. This early iteration of our new newspaper is modest but…we did it! And we look forward to doing it again next week.” concluded Brown.