NEast Philly to finish publishing in 2013

NEast Philly will fold at the end of 2013 after five years serving as a daily news website for Northeast Philadelphia. Below is a letter from Editor/Owner Shannon McDonald.

To all NEast Philly readers-

It is with great sadness that I announce the final month of publication of NEast Philly. The final post will appear on Dec. 31, 2013, and the site will remain static until June, when our web hosting expires. At that point, should another option to host content from this website in perpetuity not have been secured, all content on NEastPhilly.com will cease to exist. Our Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts will remain dormant beginning Jan. 1, 2014. Our phone call tip line will be disabled.

This decision was a very difficult one. I weighed it carefully, and have already  informed our contributors and partners of the news. Everyone who reads this site and interacts with us on social media helped play a role in taking NEast Philly from a small blog in 2008 to the robust daily news site it became.

I will always be grateful for the loyal contributors who’ve given so much over these last five years to deliver you a comprehensive news experience — from weekly columns to reviews, to multimedia, to feature stories and lengthy reporting projects. Without contributors like Stacey McCarthy, Jim Heisler, Bill Achuff and Michelle Alton, we wouldn’t have kept you as informed as we did.

Without partners like Philadelphia Neighborhoods and the Frankford Gazette, and the web expertise of Sean Blanda, Jim Smiley and Christopher Wink, we’d still be publishing on a small blog platform, and we wouldn’t have had coverage of the changing 172nd legislative district or short-dumping in Tacony and Holmesburg.

The decision to fold NEast Philly is both business and personal. Many of you whom I’ve connected with over the years know that I work full time at NewsWorks, also a NEast Philly partner. My responsibilities there have grown over the last year, and I’ve returned to the Temple University Department of Journalism as an adjunct professor. These are two jobs I love deeply, but that require a lot of time and attention that prevents the focus required to produce NEast Philly. That, combined with my recent relocation out of the Northeast (don’t worry, the Northeast hasn’t seen the last of me!), makes it unfair and impractical to try to cover this great region in the way the people who live and work here deserve.

I started NEast Philly because of my passion for my home neighborhoods and a desire to bring more consistent news coverage to a region of 400,000 people. It has been nothing but a pleasure to meet so many people who are doing new and exciting things — and celebrating and preserving the old things. NEast Philly has spent an evening patrolling with West Frankford Town Watch, took a tour of the former Liddonfield Homes and first reported the story of the Healing Way’s Holmesburg methadone clinic. All of those stories came from readers who saw something in their neighborhood that they felt people needed to know more about. For that, and for so many other stories, I thank you.

One thing I might miss most of all is discussing neighborhood boundaries with you all on Facebook.

To those of you who’ve just found us, or those who started reading five years ago, thank you for believing in a different kind of news venture. You have made the last five years memorable, to say the least.

Very sincerely,

Shannon McDonald NEast Philly owner/editor

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