Let's just start by saying this: we are an independent media company, we own our URL, we pay for our own hosting, we don't get into any formal partnerships, distribution, or content deals. If you want to find us, you find us here. If you want us to write for your news page, you hire us but we own the content. Independence is critical to how a company can grow its online presence, and once you rely on third parties to help you, eventually something unfavorable will happen.
Today, that is what happened to The Three Sonorans blog out of Tucson, run by Latino blogger DA Morales. (Hey, you can still like them on Facebook.)
The Sonorans were dropped from TucconCitizen.com, a site that looks "independent" but is in fact owned by Gannett, one of the country's largest media companies and the owner of USA TODAY and other news properties. How do we know? Well the picture below from Gannett's page is proof enough, but also have you ever read TucsonCitizen's terms of services? How many lawyers did you need to write that? Talk about paranoid media.
So yes, an independent blogger who submits content to a site that looks like an "independent site" but is in fact part of a larger corporate media entity was dropped by the "independent" site because what the independent blogger was writing about pissed off an Arizona politician, who then went to Gannett. That is sad.
In the end, the Sonorans were handed a deck of corporate media mierda. But here is what they need to know: THEY DON'T NEED CORPORATE MEDIA. The Sonorans are truth-tellers and truth-seekers. In the age of new media, their message and vision will not be stopped.
The site, which has gained over 1.6 million pageviews since its inception in 2010 (add the Rebels to its loyal readership), has been a fantastic source of unfiltered news regarding Arizona politics. In fact, many would say that the Sonorans have actually done more to shed light on what is really going on in Arizona that the vast majority of Arizona's mainstream media outlets. Quite frankly, TucsonCitizen.com is just an old media distribution channel that provides bloggers with an outlet and nothing more. Sure, it has the web traffic and really annoying ads, but their web traffic is because of the CONTENT they were publishing. The Three Sonorans are one of those content providers. The Sonorans have the loyal following and were the only reason we actually went to TucsonCitizen.com in the first place. DA could publish from Mars, and we would still read him.
In the end, by dropping a popular blogger because a politician threatened someone with a lawsuit is lame and just shows how some politicians would rather let their egos get in the way ("I am so offended! Do you know who I am?") than actually facing their problems head on. We thought TucsonCitzen.com had cojones, but it appears that they don't. Eventually, we would think their very strong traffic will begin to decrease and the readership will go away. You lost your one of your Jordan, guys, and it looks like MJ will be fine, since from what we heard, there are plenty of websites (including this site) who would publish the Sonorans in a heartbeat. And we don't worry, because we have good lawyers too.
There is a difference between being offended and being libeled. TusconCitizen.com just saw this veiled threat and buckled. Here's to the true independent journalists, because they don't need no stinkin' distributors. They will write the stories themselves, and they will get the truth out to the world.
Want proof? We offer you our site as proof positive. These Rebeldes like to do their own thing. And we are glad we made that decision.