If I used the word "interregnum" in a piece ("Countdown," July 13, 2001) on Buddy Cianci, or "shaudenfraude" in a story about the fallout of a vice bust at an adult entertainment store in Johnston ("It's a scandal," February 1, 2002), there was no anxiety that they would be excised.
And while comment from the ProJo hierarchy was practically non-existent after I happened upon my niche in writing about local media, there was real news value in examining the state's most important news organization, particularly when it barely covered a labor stalemate that persisted there from 2000 to 2003.
As demonstrated by Steven Stycos's excellent story this week, examining salaries in the local health-care sector, the Phoenix continues to report stories that might otherwise go unreported, in a way that's different from other media organizations.
The media future remains uncertain. While blogs and other forms can take up some of the slack, meaningful journalism tends to be costly and time-consuming. Rhode Island demands serious scrutiny, so one can only hope that it continues to receive it, from a variety of sources.
As I leave for a political reporting gig at WRNI (1290 AM), Rhode Island's public radio station, I'd like to thank all of you who have read and continue to read the Phoenix.
It takes a lot of people to make it all happen, so thank you, Peter Kadzis; Stephen Mindich; Steve Brown; Lou Papineau; Phillipe + Jorge; Phoenix contributors past and present (particularly Stycos and Brian C. Jones); the crack sales and graphic team on Chestnut Street; and my friend Matt Jerzyk, for helping to push me into the blogosphere.
As we say in Providence, see you around the campus.