In its long history, the Black Rock Gazette community newspaper has taken many forms. In recent years, the playa’s first newspaper has become a sort of hybrid project, driven in part by participant effort and in part by the Burning Man organization. This arrangement has a downside, although both have derived benefits — the Gazette has received support from the organization and the Project had an on-playa vehicle available for disseminating important information. The journalistic needs of the publisher and editorial staff have not always remained well-aligned. In 2005, after publishing the spring Black Top Gazette, the two groups decided to pursue separate missions.
Dedicated Gazette staff created the Black Rock Beacon as a completely participant-driven publication. As an independent publication, the editors of the Beacon naturally enjoy full journalistic license to cover the news in Black Rock City without any oversight by the Burning Man Project.
The organization decided to return the Gazette to its early days as a no-frills, one-page broadsheet. A few individuals within the Project stepped forward and reinvented the newspaper. The 2005 Black Rock Gazette-ette rose from the ashes of its predecessor. The new appellation signifies the publication’s old-time format and distinguishes it from last year’s more ambitious production.
In 2005, only one gate edition was published. In 2006, a team will brainstorm about what form the Gazette-ette will take in the future.