Frances Bula is leaving the Vancouver Sun – and, more to the point, her blog. It’s a big loss for the Sun, and for those who care about Vancouver civic politics:

This will be my last post on this Vancouver Sun blog, as I have resigned from the paper.

I wanted to tell all of you, as I go, how much I have enjoyed this new form of telling you the news and how great it has been to interact in a completely different way with a crowd of intelligent, engaged and well-informed people. I don’t want to say “readers,” because that implies you are passive and the thing I love about the blog is that you’re not – you post comments and email and phone and let me know in person about other information I should have or your critiques of what I’ve written – so it’s more like a conversation where you learn from me and I learn from you.

Her blog post makes it clear that she thoroughly understands blogging – which makes losing her voice at the Sun doubly painful. And toward the end, she makes a provocative suggestion that journalists are the original practitioners of “citizen journalism”:

Journalists, through their professional organizations, have always rejected the idea that anyone should have to be certified or have to have a required level of education to work in the business. That’s because of a fundamental belief that all citizens have the capacity to observe and report on the world, not just some elite class. So I encourage all of you to support the good parts of the mainstream media that’s produced by us citizen journalists who happen to be paid.

All of which means this last bit is encouraging:

As for me, I will be continuing with other forms of journalism, including blogging, but, unless there’s an unforeseeable turn in my life in the next few years, I won’t be embedded in a daily-news operation any more as I have been for the last 25 years of my life.

I’ll be looking forward to seeing what she cooks up, on- and off-line. In the meantime, thanks, Frances, for helping keep civic (and civil!) discussion going in this city – heaven knows we need more of it.

Some more reaction: