Mike Koozmin/The S.F. ExaminerSteven T. Jones

Former Bay Guardian staff rally across the street from San Francisco Media Company

On the first Wednesday on which no San Francisco Bay Guardian was published, former staff and a crowd of supporters showed up at the cable car turnaround at Powell and Market streets to mourn the loss of the 48-year-old publication.

The San Francisco Media Co. published the final issue of the Bay Guardian on Oct. 15. The company also owns The San Francisco Examiner and SF Weekly.

At Wednesday's rally, many former staff, including Bay Guardian founder Bruce Brugmann and former Executive Editor Tim Redmond, were on hand to lament the loss of the progressive voice in San Francisco. Other high-profile guests joined them, including Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who after speaking, cheered on the speakers that followed.

Of the Guardian's demise, Ammiano said although it may seem like you can kill the messenger, “You can't kill the message.”

He insisted there is an audience for progressive ideas that mainstream news outlets ignore or don't cover. He suggested if the Guardian can't be brought back as a print product, there might be other forms that could be used.

Steven T. Jones, who had been editor-in-chief of the Guardian until its closure, followed Ammiano at the rally. He said that he and the rest of the staff have started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for a final commemorative issue of the paper.

Toward the end of the rally, former Publisher Marke Beischke emphasized the role the Guardian played in helping give voice to artists and lower-income residents who are increasingly being pushed out of The City.

He was followed by Bay Guardian founder Brugmann, who said the subtext in stories about the Bay Guardian's closure, the idea the paper was living in a “timewarp” was “bullshit.”

He said the last two issues of the Bay Guardian were “right on” and an example of the hard work and serious journalism the paper was still capable of producing.

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