Welcome to the San Diego Free Press !

by on June 4, 2012 · 21 comments

in Activism, Culture, Politics

We want to welcome our readers – today is our first “official” day for the publication of the
San Diego Free Press

Beginning Monday, June 4th, the OB Rag – an online publication for Ocean Beach – is birthing a new online publication for all of San Diego. It’s the San Diego Free Press – and is named after San Diego’s very first alternative newspaper – which was published from 1968 to 1969.

The San Diego Free Press will bring to the rest of San Diego what the OB Rag has been bringing to the community of Ocean Beach these last four and half years – an online source of news, issues, and progressive views by citizen journalists, plus providing of a platform for the discussion of issues relevant to the village of OB.

The San Diego Free Press – in the planning stages for over a year and half – will be a source for neighborhood news from all the ignored and forgotten communities of our area, and it will provide a source and platform for progressive views for and by San Diegans.

The evolution of the OB Rag has been wonderful to experience and observe. First, of course, it was a community newspaper for Ocean Beach during the first half of the 1970s. There was a brief effort in the early days of this century to publish a new paper version, and now we have its current manifestation – the online website.

The staff of the OB Rag believes it is time for us to take another evolutionary step and launch the San Diego Free Press. While the OB Rag will still be published daily, many of our writers and bloggers will now focus on their own neighborhoods and the City and County as a whole. Those of our writers and bloggers who live in Ocean Beach and Point Loma will continue to post their views, reviews, and reports of events and issues that concern OBceans here on the OB Rag. The OB Rag will cross-post articles from the San Diego Free Press and vice-versa.

We want our readers and supporters to fully embrace and welcome the San Diego Free Press. We hope to apply what we learned about providing news and coverage for Ocean Beach to the other villages in and around our City and County. The San Diego Free Press will provide a strong, progressive alternative to the corporate-driven media and press in San Diego. It will be guided by an able and experienced editorial board that will work as a collective, and along with other staff, contributors, and supporters, we aim to forge a new level of citizen journalism in San Diego. We hope to recruit articulate, committed, and compassionate writers, bloggers, and photographers from throughout San Diego’s diverse communities to our new online media project.

We are honored to use the name of the San Diego Free Press. A couple of us remember those heady days of underground newspapers in this town, and so inspired, we went on to create and develop the original OB Rag. Now it seems only fitting those of us who have been publishing the OB Rag and who remember the original are now part of the rebirth of the San Diego Free Press.

Please welcome the OB Rag’s new offspring, our baby – the new San Diego Free Press.


A lawyer and grassroots activist, I was finally convinced by Patty Jones to start the OB Rag, a blog of citizen journalists, after she got tired of listening to my rants about the news. Way back during the Dinosaurs in 1970, I founded the original Ocean Beach People’s Rag - OB’s famous underground newspaper -, and then later during the early Eighties, published The Whole Damn Pie Shop, a progressive alternative to the Reader.
avatar Annie June 4, 2012 at 11:15 am

Long live the San Diego Free Press! I am so honored and happy to be a part of this.

avatar John Anderson June 4, 2012 at 11:22 am

Agreed! Cheers to local news and community.

avatar Ernie McCray June 4, 2012 at 11:20 am

This is exciting and I’m glad I have a role in it.

avatar Andy Cohen June 4, 2012 at 11:35 am

And Ernie, you already have a post up (you’re welcome!)!

avatar Dickie June 4, 2012 at 11:24 am

Heartiest of congratulations to the new SD Free Press, and great admiration and appreciation to the initiative and energy of all of you who made this great expansion of the progressive press in SD possible. As a 7-year resident of OB in the 70s, my heart is with the Rag . . . I got here a little after the demise of the original Free Press, though as a underground press fan, and an activist I had heard of the great exposes done in SD by the FP in the late 60s earliest 70s . . . I am sure I will read both from my perch up here in Shasta County. A short shoutout to the Door, a citywide paper that was contemporary with the Rag when I arrived in ’72. I don’t know if it’s literally a successor of the FP, but has a place in the history of alternative media in SD.
If I ever get my OBRag ad together for display, I’ll put it in the FP as well. Give ‘em hell!! They deserve it . . .

avatar Frank Gormlie June 4, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Thanks Dickie – always great to hear from you. And what about that ad, dude?

avatar Doug Porter June 4, 2012 at 11:35 am

Oh yeah, Follow us on twitter at: @SDFreePressorg

avatar Seth Hall June 4, 2012 at 11:35 am

Congrats to all involved. I’ll be reading with great interest.

avatar Jack Hamlin June 4, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Congratulation and Welcome to the SDFP! And thank you for including me as one of your contributors…I am looking forward to reaching beyond OB (not too very far) and working with the rest of San Diego.

In Peace, Jack

avatar Ardy Shaw June 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Perfect timing! Just this morning I kicked that no-news UT to the curb after they put an editorial on the Front Page saying why we should elect Their candidate for mayor.

avatar Frank Gormlie June 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm

And thanks to those of our group, like Dixon, Annie and Court, who helped the application of pied to derriere to kick-start our efforts to do this.

avatar Anna Daniels June 4, 2012 at 2:48 pm

This got me thinking about the Pittsburgh Fair Witness (1971-3), which was our alternative press at the time. I wasn’t involved in the paper itself, just ponied up a quarter for the kid standing outside the local head shop selling it. Fast forward (and it did go fast!) forty years, and here I am, part of a collective that promotes grass roots news and progressive views! Forty years. Three thousand miles. I’m taking a nap…

avatar Frank Gormlie June 4, 2012 at 4:02 pm

As of 4pm today, June 4, we’ve had 804 page hits and 424 unique visitors. That’s great!

avatar judi June 4, 2012 at 4:15 pm

It is an honor to be part of this unique group! Thanks for sticking to it, Frank.

avatar Frank J June 4, 2012 at 5:22 pm

All good news but one item…
I get the following message when I try to ‘subscribe’…
We’re sorry…
… but your computer or network may be sending automated queries. To protect our users, we can’t process your request right now.
See Google Help for more information.

avatar Patty Jones June 4, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Frank, Sorry ’bout that. There is now a subscribe box in the right sidebar, try that.

avatar Goatskull June 4, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Coolness. Stoked to see this get off the ground.

avatar Frank Gormlie June 4, 2012 at 6:24 pm

We just had 1,000 pages and 500 visitors! (6:22pm PDT)

avatar Brittany Bailey June 4, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Yay! We need to have a celebratory party now!

avatar Christine Schanes June 4, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Congratulations to All for creating this wonderful forum, the San Diego Free Press!

May it grow and prosper!

avatar Patty Jones June 4, 2012 at 10:41 pm

There are still some glitches lurking about. If you see something that seems funky, please let us know. Thanks!

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