Award-winning Maricopa newspaper closes after 16 years

By Kethia Kong | Maricopa Monitor

After 16 years of service The Communicator will no longer be in business, publishing its last edition in March.

CommunicatorSince 1997, when the publication was founded by Vicki Pettes, the newspaper had a large affect on Maricopa. It gave residents a voice, fought for justice, advocated for change, and reported reliable news. Shelley Gillespie, senior reporter of The Communicator for nine years, embodied these qualities.

“My mission was to help people. If there was an opportunity to do so, I’d jump on it,” she said. She helped the community in a variety of ways, including her coverage of Global Water’s rate hike in 2009. She believed Maricopa residents were being treated unfairly with Global Water looking to increase their rates by an estimated 40 percent in tough economic times. Her article was a part of a movement in the community, resulting in rallies and protests against the proposed measure.

On October 2010, the Arizona Newspaper Association awarded Gillespie for best sustained coverage or series for her work on the Global Water rate increase, while The Communicator won a journalistic achievement award for its community service, their second in a row.


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