Jamaica Plain Citizen, historic newspaper, ceases publishing

October 25, 2012
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The Jamaica Plain Citizen, the local newspaper of record from the 1940s into the 1980s before it faced competition from the Gazette, officially ceased publication this week along with several other papers in its parent company’s chain, according to an email from editor Alice O’Leary obtained by the Gazette.

O’Leary of the South Boston-based Tribune Publishing Company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Tribune also published papers in such other areas as South Boston, Dorchester, Hyde Park. All of those papers are out of business, according to O’Leary’s email.

The Citizen had dwindled to publishing no more than 250 copies of each issue and was available only in a few scattered stores or by subscription.

Sandra Storey, the founding publisher and editor of the Gazette, previously worked at the Citizen, including as its editor, from 1986 to 1990.

The Citizen was “incredibly important” as the voice of the community in its time, Storey said. She recalled the Citizen covering such major stories as the creation of the Southwest Corridor and the formation of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council.

After Storey left and began publishing the Gazette, the Citizen soon shrank under the competition. In recent years, it had a single reporter attending a few neighborhood meetings.

“It’s a little bit of a relief” to see the Citizen’s end, Storey said. “It was limping along for so long, almost like its owners couldn’t let it go.”

Despite covering JP, the Citizen was based in Hyde Park for most of that time and in the early 1990s was bought by Tribune Publishing.

The front page of the July 7, 1988 issue of the Jamaica Plain Citizen announces Boston’s first-ever recycling program, which was organized by JP residents. The article describes how residents could drop off old newspapers at Curtis Hall and reported the dreams of creating an official City recycling program, which exists today. (Gazette Photo by John Ruch)