West Marin Citizen

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West Marin Citizen
West Marin Citizen logo.jpg
TypeWeekly newspaper
Owner(s)West Marin Citizen
PublisherLinda Petersen
EditorLinda Petersen
Ceased publication2015
Headquarters60 4th Street, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956 United States

The West Marin Citizen was a weekly newspaper based in Point Reyes Station, California, that covered the western region of Marin County. After a pilot edition, the paper published its first issue on July 5, 2007.[1] In the following years through April 2015, the newspaper engaged in a two-paper competition for limited readership and advertising dollars in a rural area where both were relatively scarce.[2]

Joel Hack launched the Citizen in reaction to the purchase of the Point Reyes Light, a long-established, Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper also based in Point Reyes Station, by Robert Plotkin, who owned the paper between 2005-2010. The change in ownership, after the $500,000 sale by long-time owner and editor Dave Mitchell,[3] had led to a different editorial tone and staff changes.[4] Former Light managing editor Jim Kravets was the paper's first editor.

Contributors included members of the local Latino Photography Project, whose work ran as an ongoing series called "La Vida".[5] In August 2008, the Citizen won six awards from the National Newspaper Association based on the paper's first six months of reporting.[6][7]

In mid-2008, a group of residents formed a limited liability company with the intent of merging the Light and Citizen to create a single community-owned newspaper, but by the end of the year, could not come to terms with the Light's publisher on a price or the terms of the proposed buyout. The group, reconstituted as the Marin Media Alliance, focused its effort towards community ownership solely on the Citizen.[6][8][9][10] The effort was not successful.

In October 2010, Hack retired as editor and publisher, turning the paper over to advertising director Linda Petersen.[11] Under her watch, The Citizen leaned more toward features and reader-contributed pieces, while the Light worked on a more traditional newspaper model of reporters filing news stories.[12] But financial struggles affected both papers and left Peterson with no paid staff. In April 2015, she sold the paper to the Light for $50,000.[2]


  1. ^ "West Marin Citizen website". Retrieved 2009-01-06.
  2. ^ a b Kimmey, Samantha (April 30, 2015). "Light buys Citizen". Point Reyes Light.
  3. ^ Fimrite, Peter (May 27, 2010). "Pulitzer Prize-winning Marin newspaper sold". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  4. ^ "Nothing laid-back about paper's readers" by Peter Fimrite,San Francisco Chronicle, June 9, 2007, retrieved 2009-01-06.
  5. ^ Ashley, Beth (December 12, 2008). "West Marin Latinas find confidence, joy photographing people in community". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
  6. ^ a b Hack, Joel (January 8, 2008). "Looking ahead: counting the steps along the path". West Marin Citizen website. Archived from the original on March 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-11.
  7. ^ "2008 Better Newspaper Contest Winners". National Newspaper Association. Retrieved 2009-01-11.
  8. ^ Plotkin, Robert (January 15, 2009). "Lys takes on the Light". Point Reyes Light. p. 4. Archived from the original on December 24, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-17.
  9. ^ Fradkin, Philip; Steve Costa; Kirk Marckwald (March 5, 2009). "Introducing: Your community-owned newspaper". West Marin Citizen. p. 2. Archived from the original on March 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-17.
  10. ^ Rogers, Bob (March 8, 2009). "In wake of newspaper war, West Marin residents seek local control". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
  11. ^ Liberatore, Paul (October 31, 2011). "Founder of the West Marin Citizen retires". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  12. ^ Liberatore, Paul (March 15, 2015). "The West Marin Newspaper War comes to an amicable end". Marin Independent Journal.

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