The End | A Final Thought From Editor-in-Chief James Croxton

Hi all,

James here. 

First, I want to say what an incredible honor it has been to be the editor-in-chief for Double Sided Media these last two years. 

When I joined the team as its editor-at-large, I took on the responsibility with great pride and immediately started, and somehow completed, my first task: creating a style guide from nothing. In doing so, I—with lots of deliberation with Nadya—created one that I thought best represented the progressiveness and range of what DSM strived to be. 

From then on, the team shifted and reorganized too many times to count before it became time for me to take the helm and shape our team’s work the way I wanted to. 

Speaking about the entirety of DSM’s existence, feeling proud doesn’t come close to expressing how I feel. Because of this, I would like to highlight a few stories that I believe deserve to be recognized.

  • “QueerCor(P)” Feature Series (Nov. 18, 2020 – June 7, 2023): Created by Janusz Malo, this was the first series that DSM ever produced. Focused specifically on all things Queer from erotic fan-fiction to Eugene’s Pride events, this series was expanded upon by nearly every DSM member in one way or another and one that we really prided ourselves on. 
  • “The Revolutionary Spirit of the ‘Home Alone’ Franchise” (Dec. 28, 2020): One of our earliest articles and our first about film. Written by Janusz and myself, we had an absolute blast rewatching the first two ‘Home Alone’ films and thinking of all the ways that Kevin McCallister’s (Macaulay Culkin) home invasion traps were influenced by guerilla warfare.
  • “Eugene Rising” Feature Series (Feb. 15 – 21; June 5, 2021): Our extensive seven-part, 40,000+ word, series that was the culmination of all of Nadya Markowska and myself’s research into the Eugene community’s reputation of activism and protest. A must-read for anyone interested in Eugene’s storied history of activism from the Wobblies of the 1920’s and 1930’s to the anti-war bombings on the University of Oregon campus in the 1960’s to the Earth Liberation Front’s direct actions of the 1990’s to Occupy in the first part of the 21st century to the most recent George Floyd protests in 2020 and 2021. 
  • “An Independent Assessment of the Independent Assessment of the Springfield PD’s Response to the Thurston Protest” (March 26, 2021):  This is another one of Nadya and I’s collaborations. This time, we—actual witnesses to the events that unfolded in Springfield on July 29, 2020—provided our own analysis and guess what? It didn’t cost the city $35,000 for us to do so! 
  • A Community’s Response Against Hate” (July 21, 2021): One of the earliest of Mary and I’s collaborations was when we teamed up to report on the ongoing targeted vandalism of two local activists’ home. In the process, we were able to identify not only the type of paintball used but for what legitimate purposes the paintball may have been used for — which ended up helping lead to the arrest of the responsible individual. 
  • “Jermelle Madison, Jr. Died in the Custody of the Clackamas County Jail. His Family Still Doesn’t Have Answers” (Aug. 4, 2021): This is one of the most sobering, and equally disturbing, stories I’ve ever had to write — and I feel blessed to have been given the trust and responsibility in doing so. Our incarcerated loved ones are dying every day whether it be by medical neglect during a pandemic or by a catastrophic breakdown of ‘the system.’ Regardless, these individuals—someone’s parent, sibling, or child—all need to have their stories told and that the institutions at fault are held accountable. 
  • “There Doesn’t Have to be a Swastika Mountain, and Other Silly Oregon Place Names” (Aug. 19, 2021): What began as a light-hearted and, initially, less serious story about a bunch of weirdly or silly named Oregon locales became something much more. The story got a fair amount of readership when first published but exploded when, in January 2022, two 19-year-olds got trapped on the snow-covered mountain. Out of nowhere, DSM’s story was getting thousands and thousands of views. Before long, there was an active campaign to rename the mountain and, finally, in early 2023, it was renamed “Mount Halo” after Chief Halito, a leader of the Yoncalla Kalapuya tribe.
  • “How to Make Pride for Straight People” (Aug. 13, 2021); “You Can Do Better, Eugene Pride. Here’s How.” (Aug. 17, 2021): I had to write these as editorials for a reason: they were personal. I was flabbergasted when a community member tipped me onto the Eugene Pride organization’s decision to ban kink from their festival. I didn’t expect these two to blow up as much as they did but I was glad they started a conversation within the local community that needed to be had. 
  • “‘Forest Defense is Climate Defense:’ Activists Occupy Trees to Protest Old-Growth Logging in McKenzie Watershed (Photos)” (Sept. 12, 2021); “Shouting from the tree tops” (Oct. 6, 2021): Two of the most incredible weekends I’ve experienced with DSM was our exclusive time behind-the-scenes with the Cascadia Forest Defenders at the site of the currently-canceled Flat Country Sale. There, deep in the Willamette Forest, we were greeted with the most gracious hospitality from some of the most intelligent and passionate people I’ve ever met. 
  • “Lane County’s 8th Annual Grilled Cheese Experience” (March 2, 2022); “The 9th Annual Lane County Grilled Cheese Experience: Part I” (Feb. 7, 2023); “The 9th Annual Lane County Grilled Cheese Experience: Part II” (Feb. 14, 2023): I, personally, don’t eat melted cheese, so, I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical when DSM photographer—and then-unknown grilled cheese connoisseur— Robert Scherle pitched the series to me. The series was immensely popular in the end and even I was salivating at the mouth when going through the innumerable photos Robert would send over. 
  • “Laps(e) Around Eugene” Feature Series (July 21 – Aug. 12, 2022): By this point in DSM’s history, our reputation was already cemented as the “alternative” news source for the Eugene community and how better to exemplify this than with a series showing the other side of the World Athletics Championships’ impacts on Eugene. Through this series, we showed how the city’s preparations for the event included the displacement of hundreds of houseless people with the closure of Washington-Jefferson Park, the struggles of downtown and Whiteaker-area food establishments, and the protests that followed. 
  • “Old Nick’s Drag Event Successful Despite Nation-Wide Hate-Mongering, Local Intimidation” (Dec. 10, 2022): The protest in front of Old Nick’s Pub in October 2022 will undoubtedly be remembered as both a very dark day in the history of the city but also one of community solidarity and perseverance in the face of hate. Instigated by a faux “journalist” with the Andy Ngo-edited The Post Millennial, the family-friendly drag show was protested by a who’s-who of Pacific Northwest right-wing agitators—and a few Nazis—but went on without a single hitch due to the overwhelming support of hundreds of community members who had gathered to defend the performers and their audience.  
  • “In Memoriam: Midas Well” (Nov. 14, 2022); A Celebration of Life and “Candlelight March for Midas Well” (Nov. 29, 2022): Never in my life did I imagine that I would have to write about the death of a friend. Midas, one of the leaders of Black Unity, was someone I had come to know through daily coverage of the Black Lives Matter protests and beyond. Midas, who was set to open a Thai food cart in a few short weeks, left this Earth too soon but his impact on Eugene and the community will last lifetimes. 
  • “Prisoner Dies at Two Rivers Correctional Institute, His Family Wants Answers They Aren’t Getting” (Feb. 27, 2023); “Undeterred: Eddie Dungan’s Family and Friends Continue Fight for Answers, March Through Saturday Market” (April 28, 2023): The story of Edward Dungan and his family’s fight for answers regarding his untimely death while incarcerated at Two Rivers Correctional Institution is another prime example of the horrors that happen behind the walls of the prison system. Rarely is there accountability for what occurs inside and, through telling the stories of these individuals, journalists can hopefully begin to change the tide — it is imperative that we try. 
  • “Controversial Assignment Opens Door for Right-Wing Takeover on 4J School Board”  (March 20, 2023): As right-wing activists and candidates continue to increasingly make their presence known in school board meetings across the United States, we knew it was only a matter of time before the same happened in Eugene. In this case, Mary and I knew that we needed to be on top of things immediately. In the end, the right-wing takeover of the school board didn’t happen and we got a neat shoutout by the Eugene Weekly for our reporting. 

Before signing-off one last time, I have a few individuals and organizations to personally thank and acknowledge.

First, a huge “thank you” and acknowledgement to David Galbreath, Nadya Markowska, and Annie Smith for having the imagination and passion needed to start an alternative media from scratch. DSM would have never existed if not for these three incredible human beings and the skills that each brought to the table when we were laying the foundations of what we would eventually become.

Once off the ground, DSM would have not been as productive without the staff — past and present. Each and every one—many migrating from student newspapers at the college and university—brought their own passions and writing styles that made DSM as well-rounded as it was. 

I want to, especially, thank and acknowledge Mary Bell, my right hand woman and DSM managing editor. Although she was one of the last to join the team, Mary’s limitless passion for research, relentless writing habits, and contagious drive to get shit done was a key factor in DSM’s ability to keep going as long as we did. 

To the whole of the Civil Liberties Defense Center, I thank you for not only having the community’s back but our own during times that we may have needed it. 

The same sentiment goes to the Freedom of the Press Foundation and the Committee to Protect Journalists for their diligent work in reporting instances of violence and extrajudicial actions towards journalists through the jointly-led U.S. Press Freedom Tracker. 

I want to thank the multitude of journalists in Portland—independent or not—that welcomed myself and DSM with open arms and showed us the ropes in an environment that was, frankly, much more intense than I had been used to. Specifically, I want to thank Village Portland Managing Editor Cory Elia; my regular mini crew consisting of independent journalists Grace Morgan, Griffin Malone, and Bethany Kerley; and, of course, the few unnamed black bloc protesters who regularly said “hello” when we saw each other again. 

I want to thank the colleagues at the Chemical Weapons Research Center. Without these individuals’ unique-but-highly-valuable expertise in all things related to the munitions our government uses against its own people, I would have never become nearly as interested in the subject as I have become. 

To the entire staff at Left Coast Right Watch and their Editor-in-Chief, my friend Abner Häuge, I thank you all for your support and for our many published collaborations. With these collaborations and the outlet’s larger reach, we were able to bring nationwide attention to some of what was happening in Eugene.

Last, but most certainly not least, I want to thank our readers and Patreon supporters. Without readers—you know I really mean clicksDSM’s work would have fallen flat and, without our Patreon supporters, we wouldn’t have been able to maintain our website or afford protective gear and equipment for our on-the-ground reporting.  

I will cherish so many memories from throughout the last few years and, trust, I plan to stay in touch. If you’re wanting to reach out, please feel free to do so and I can be reached at jcroxLCRW (at) gmail (dot) com.

Peace, love, and be well,
James “where’s the fucking protest” Croxton 

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