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It's no fun writing for a newspaper that folds, and even less pleasant when it folds so suddenly there's no chance to tell your readers goodbye. But that's how the Chicago Free Press disappeared from Chicago, and Jennifer Vanasco has made the best of a bad situation by sharing her last thoughts with the Huffington Post. She asked me to let my readers know they're there.
In the early days, reflects Vanasco, who's written a column 14 years and now lives in New York City, "the days before the web, writing a column for newspapers felt intimate. People picked up their free paper from the box on the corner and shared it with a cup of coffee. I felt like I was writing for a community."
Then the Web came along and changed things. "It became more important that columns were topical riffs on the news (the web is fueled by hits and hits are fueled by keywords which are easy to search for). When I started running a website myself (I'm the editor of the news site 365gay.com), I started writing columns I wanted to run, things that clarified or put a new spin on the news story of the week."
No big regrets from Vanasco. The world's changed and she's changed with it. She's not the only columnist who liked to think what she wrote went nicely with a cup of coffee.