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Is this really goodbye Just Out?

John Cameron Mitchell holds a copy of Just Out featuring him. Just one of many memorable JO covers over the years

In a sudden move today Just Out, Portland’s first LGBT publication, announced it will cease publication with the already released 12/9 issue. Despite that issue talking about new delivery methods in 2012 and not indicating an imminent shut down, JO has posted on their website as well as posting this more thorough statement on their Facebook page:

It is with great sadness that I have to announce today that Just Out newspaper, having put up a helluva fight against this dammed “Great Recession”, will be unable to continue publishing. Our 12/9 issue was/is our last publication. Thank you for being our “Friends” and for reading Just Out, these past 29 years.

Not only has Just Out been an incredible resource for almost 30 years in this community (longer than I can claim to be out, seeing as I was 1 year old) but it has grown so much in the past 2 years.

In this same amount of time print journalism has become a very precarious business to be in, and this is not the first time Just Out was on the brink of closure. I jumped in as a freelancer myself for a few months in 2008 when there was little to no staff and they were on the edge of a cliff. Since then they’ve made some great hires and really came to appreciate the digital age, upping their blogging ante, providing lots of great photo galleries, and becoming a place to check for news daily in addition to their bi-weekly print edition.

Just Out is truly a great resource and I will be as sad as the rest of the community to see it go. There is some hope, as sudden as this announcement is, that there may be time to save it, but this continuing recession, along with the changes in the journalism industry in general, makes it a steep uphill battle.

Discussions and tributes have already begun in the FB page and I invite you to also use this space to remember, appreciate, and perhaps even try to save, this iconic local publication. A very special thank you to publisher Marty Davis as well. Just Out you have been a loyal publication that many of us have grown up with, come out with. You will be greatly missed.

14 comments to Is this really goodbye Just Out?

  • This breaks my heart. Not only as a freelance writer who’s written over fifty articles with them over the last twelve years, but as a member of the queer community. This is a major loss for us. Just Out has been, over the years, a major go-to point for the LGBT community, as well as a major sponsor of gay events in town.

  • Shannon Wiberg via Facebook

    That sucks

  • Razzle Dazzle via Facebook

    I wish there was a better LGBTQ paper in town than Just Out and unfortunately, I have to say good riddance to JO. The calendar was good, after that, too much of the writing was bad and the tone/ focus of the paper was too close to Marty Davis’s own personal agenda for me. Davis was not a good publisher to say the least.

  • adina

    Say it ain’t so! I’m sad to see Just Out go. I freelanced for them for the first time when I was 17, and then I became a regular freelancer in 2008, after staff writers were let go. I was grateful at the time that JO existed, as I have been as they’ve weathered the recession storm.

    There was nothing tentative in Marty’s words. I respect that she stuck with it as long as she did, and maybe now just happened to be quitting time. Even if it is truly quitting time, I think we as a community need to have a real conversation about what kind of queer media we need, and how we are willing to support it.

    I may not be in town for these conversations, but I hope that what transpires after JO truly serves this community.

    adina

  • Those staffers weren’t “let go.”. They left after not being paid for weeks on end. Anyone who’s had dealings with her knows that Marty’s unprofessionalism is the real reason behind the closure.

  • I’d like to put the above rumor to rest please. Staff were notified today of the closure. None had left due to non-payment of of earnings.

  • My comment was correcting Asina’s assertion about 2008 staff. Just an example of poor management. Not a comment about the exact circumstances today.

  • adina

    I agree with ‘in the know.’ While a freelancer for Just Out I had repeated struggles with getting paid on time or the amount I had agreed to. Eventually I got paid what I was due. I remember talking to these staffers. If I could, I’d revise my comment.

  • Old AdMan

    I agree with intheknow and adina. I worked at JO too and was privy to what they are referring. And when Davis couldn’t pay her employees – which was often – she blamed the sales department. The work environment was beyond hostile. It was terrfying. I feel bad that the current staff are without jobs now, but I couldn’t be more happy that Davis’ uppins finally came.

  • Jaymee Cuti

    I have compassion for the remaining staff but revisionism serves no one. Read my BOLI letter to learn your institutional history. http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2009/05/14/ex-just-out-staffers-fight-to-claim-unemployment-checks

  • This post was not written with the intention to bring back up the issues of 2008 but as a goodbye. However, it is part of Just Out history so if that’s where the conversation is going so be it.

    I do believe that despite the past JO is a resource that will be missed.

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