What a surprising headline in today's Key West Citizen. Key West The News is gone and most likely for good. Almost two decades of journalism as a contact sport and finally Dennis Reeves Cooper is too tired to carry on publishing, he says and there is no more money to print paper. I liked Key West The News because it forced public honesty despite the publisher's aggravating personal foibles, his latest a drunk driving conviction and his constant reference to victories past to cover for a lack of news in the present. Key West is a small town and perhaps it is too small to sustain a scandal rag like KWTN a paper that came out weekly but did not have a weekly scandal to feed it's need to titillate. The Citizen in reporting the death of the free weekly described it rather prissily as not meeting normal standards of journalism by not using normal attribution guidelines. No doubt he was a pain in the ass but Cooper never was sued for telling a lie or claiming a falsehood as truth. In the end the money ran out just as it is running out for mainstream newspapers with less commitment to telling their stories and a greater commitment to feeding their corporate overlords. That the Key West Police Department failed most recently to provide scandal for the paper is just one more irony in this story after years of sniping by Cooper of a department in a modern incarnation that has not deserved the criticism he had piled upon it in the past. Our current chief signally managed to do that which previous chiefs never managed- to run a clean capable department that also gained public respect even from types like Cooper who never professed any love for it.
Sic transit Gloria Mundi . RIP.