Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The New York Sun closes

A sad day for those hoping for something better than the New York Times:
What a run. A newspaper founded by a company that was scheduled to be created on September 11, 2001, announces its last issue on September 29, 2008, the day of the largest one-day point drop in the history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It's easy to forget the boom years in between that were bracketed by the terrorist attacks and the financial crisis.

Beginning a new daily newspaper in New York was an optimistic project. And in many ways the optimism that animated this venture has been borne out. The Bush tax cuts did unleash tremendous economic growth. Iraqis are building a better country in freedom. The expansion of charter schools in New York has improved educational outcomes. The Republican Party can nominate a presidential candidate who stands for welcoming immigrants to America. The Bush administration's counterterrorism policies and those of the New York Police Department have prevented another attack from succeeding, a track record that the next president and the next mayor will be lucky to emulate notwithstanding complaints by the civil libertarians.

So while this is a sad day for the Sun's editors and employees and readers and backers, and a worrisome day and month for those many, many New Yorkers whose fortunes are tied to the financial markets, we end this project marveling at what a land of opportunity America is and what an open and dynamic city New York is. A few little-known editors and reporters managed to win backing for a project and nurse it to the point where — and we are very touched by this — even our competitors are saying it made a difference in the national and local debate and won the respect of the city's leading citizens.

We wouldn't want to overstate our accomplishments. We failed to make a profit, which was one of our goals. But neither would we want to understate our accomplishments. It is not nothing that when the Washington Post and the New York Times wanted to report on Arab oil money and monarchs funding the Clinton library, they quoted reporting by our Josh Gerstein. Or when the Wall Street Journal editorial page wanted to understand the roots of the financial crisis, it cited reporting by our Julie Satow.

Or that when President Bush nominated Michael Mukasey as attorney general after we suggested it in a New York Sun editorial, the White House quoted the front-page profile of the judge that had been written in the Sun by our Joseph Goldstein on the moment of his retirement. Or that when the news broke that the Sun's future was in doubt, the directors of both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art spoke of the newspaper's importance, as did three of the former governors of New York, two Democrats and one Republican. Or that Ambassador Bolton said that our Benny Avni had provided the best U.N. coverage of any newspaper, anywhere.

We can only hope that some day in the future our own record will inspire some new generation of newspapermen and women with dreams to pick up the flag that today we put down. We hope it doesn't take 50 years for the next new start, but even if it does take that long, we hope that they have as much fun as we have had and meet with as much success.

No comments:

Post a Comment