Ypsilanti Citizen Community Ypsilanti Cycle

Volunteers prepare for Ypsi PRIDE Day
By Mark Tower
May. 13, 2010   ·   7:09 a.m.

Volunteers and W.H. Canon employees plant flowers in Depot Town while Ypsilanti resident Mike Labadie repairs the planter's brick work on Ypsi PRIDE Day last year.

Each year, residents in and around the city of Ypsilanti carry on a tradition started by a group of community members enrolled in a city leadership program, a sort...read more

Bicycles zoom as flowers bloom
By Citizen staff
Apr. 30, 2010   ·   2:11 p.m.

Riders from last year's spring ride come in after a long trip. Bike Ypsi’s 2010 Spring Ride and Festival is from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday at Recreation Park (1015 Congress Street).

The weather has turned, the trees are budding and the flowers are popping out of the ground; time for a cruise through town. But don’t be so quick to hop in the...read more

Sheriff Clayton visits Ypsilanti Township
By Mark Tower
Apr. 29, 2010   ·   12:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township resident Kathleen Hanadel takes notes as her and other residents attempt to asses WCSO services Tuesday evening at a community forum held at the township's community center.

About 50 Ypsilanti Township residents gave the Washtenaw County Sheriff Office their input about law enforcement in the community Tuesday evening.

The information...read more

Local photographer raising funds for Ypsi Project exhibit
By Adrienne Ziegler
Apr. 20, 2010   ·   2:20 a.m.

Ypsilanti resident Nicholas Beltsos his grandson Demetrios were photographed by Project Ypsi photographer Erica Hampton during a bike ride she took Monday. A former EMU economics professor, Beltsos and his family moved to Ypsi from Dearborn in 1967.

Ypsilanti has many faces, and Erica Hampton wants to share a few of them with you.

Over the past year, Hampton created the The Ypsi Project, a series of portraits...read more

Savoy taking shape as live music venue
By Dan DuChene
Apr. 17, 2010   ·   2:38 p.m.

Local funk band Third Coast Kings play in Ypsilanti's newest live music venue, Savoy, Friday night.

Ypsilanti's newest concert venue is preparing for its grand opening weekend April 23, more than a month after its soft opening March 13.

Formerly Club Divine,...read more

Ypsilantians respond to Ann Arbor News' closure

This empty store front on Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti is where the Ann Arbor News' Ypsilanti satellite office was located until the company left the spot in Nov. 2008. Photo by Dan DuChene

This empty store front on Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti is where the Ann Arbor News' Ypsilanti satellite office was located until the company left the spot in Nov. 2008.
Ypsilanti Farmers Market

Last daily print newspaper to shut down in July

By Dan DuChene
Mar. 24, 2009    ·    2:10 a.m.

As of July, the Ypsilanti community will no longer be served by a daily newspaper.

After 174 years, the Ann Arbor News announced it would be shutting down operations this summer. In its place, New York-based parent company Advance Publications plans to open Internet-based news company Ann Arbor.com.

Since the announcement was made at 9:18 a.m. Monday, the paper has put six related stories on its Internet site MLive.com. There was no mention of the news in the paper’s printed edition Monday.

James Pinson, an Eastern Michigan University journalism professor had read the news and was preparing himself to discuss the topic in his American journalism history class Monday morning.

“It’s really sad,” Pinson said in his Pray-Harrold office.

Pinson said the news is sad for the company’s employees, the journalism industry and for members of the community.

“Everybody is just wondering what’s in store,” he said. “I don’t think anybody really knows.”

All of the paper’s 272 employees will be given a severance package relative to their time with the company. Ann Arbor.com, which will be printing two publications a week, will hire some of the Ann Arbor News staff. However, the new company will operate with far fewer employees.

Ann Arbor.com plans to run a social networking and news aggregating site serving predominately the Ann Arbor area. Advance Publications announced it will sell its three-story building in downtown Ann Arbor.

This news comes after the News vacated its office in downtown Ypsilanti late last year, the same time it announced it would be downsizing and offering buyouts.

Pinson compared the Ann Arbor News’ announcement to other papers around the country citing shrinking revenues for closing down or limiting services. Though he said the industry has lost classified advertising to sites like craigslist.org, he said majority of advertising money is still spent in newspapers.

He said unlike other industries, newspapers still maintain a double-digit profit margin.

To maintain this high profit margin, Pinson said newspapers have been incorporating technology into their business model to keep costs down. He said computer software and technology have been used to eliminate jobs in the printing room and the copy desk.

Michael Camilleri, a 22-year-old EMU student was reading RSS feeds on his MacBook in the Ugly Mug Café Monday afternoon. An Ypsilanti resident and senior studying biology, he said he’s not really concerned with the news.

“Online is more convenient for me,” Camilleri said. “I sit in front of my computer all day.”

While he said local news is important to the community, he said the medium it’s delivered in doesn’t really matter to him as long as it’s accessible.

Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber pointed to publications like the Citizen and the Ann Arbor Chronicle to fill the void left by the Ann Arbor News’ disappearance. However, he said he is concerned with the elderly residents of Ypsilanti and those that cannot afford Internet service.

“It’s a blow to those who still rely on the printed edition,” Schreiber said.

While he said the paper’s closing would be a “blow” to the Ypsilanti community in general, he said he’s concerned with those people the most.

“I’m crushed,” said Ypsilanti resident Lynn Antisdel, who was reading a local magazine at the Ugly Mug Monday afternoon.

“I don’t like to read newspapers online,” she said. “It frustrates me.”

Antisdel said she reads the Ann Arbor news every day for local news and the Detroit Free Press every day for her regional news. On Sundays, she said she reads the New York Times for her national and world news. She said she’s not in the habit of turning to a Website for news.

“We don’t want to get into bed in the morning with the laptop,” she said.

While some point to blogs to fill in for community reporting, Ypsilanti resident and community blogger Mark Maynard disagrees.

“I don’t think blogs are a substitute for journalism,” he said.

Maynard said journalists are professionals who get paid to follow a story and gather all the relevant information. He said they contact people to get the whole story and follow up to get the truth. He said when someone calls from a newspaper, people “get scared” and take the call more seriously.

“I don’t think more people will come to my site for that,” Maynard said.

While he said blogs can create a place for people to share ideas and effect change, he said newspapers serve as the “official organ of the community.”

Maynard pointed the News’ role as Ypsilanti’s newspaper of record.

Mayor Paul Schreiber said he has already discussed the matter with City Manager Ed Koryzno. He said no specifics have been decided, but the spot may have to be re-bid as Ann Arbor.com is a completely different company.

Antisdel agreed with Maynard. She said both Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor are filled with people very active in their community. She said having access to newspapers has helped facilitate that trend and foster it.

When asked what he planned to tell his students what to take from the News’ announcement, Pinson said, “It would be presumptuous of me to say that I know."

He said, “Optimistically, society needs news-gathering.”

And like Camilleri, Pinson said it may not matter what medium is used to deliver that news.

He said he plans to tell his students, “If this is what you want to do, go for it.”

After asking what profession isn’t in some sort of turmoil today, Pinson said, “Somebody is going to be (reporting).

“Get out there and get the job done,” he said.

Calls and e-mails made to Ann Arbor News staff for comment were not returned.

Related stories:
Long-time Ypsi reporter lands County job
Area newspapers to vie for official spot
City to bid out official newspaper spot

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