Last week (Monday actually), Crossroads Magazine announced the sad news that it is closing its virtual doors. I’ll let you read the what others have written about the subject for details, but in short it comes down to money. There isn’t enough of it. Or rather, the powers that be are choosing to spend it on new projects to attract international folks and not on this tried and well-respected resource that supports all expats, new and old.
I honestly cannot imagine a Maastricht without Crossroads. When we moved here two years ago there were very few English language resources available. There was no International Desk. Most Gemeente literature is only in Dutch. The fine Maastricht Region website wasn’t online yet (and besides it provides a different sort of resource). And the websites we could find were mostly Amsterdam-centric.
But Crossroads was there to welcome us. Not only with English language articles and news, but also information about practical matters, history, culture, language, and the cumulative experience of those who had come before us. When we had only been here a short time, I was interviewed as a blogger for Crossroads by Gina Vodegel and later Sueli encouraged and supported me in writing an article of my own for the magazine. It is through this connection that I met my first people, learned about Pecha Kucha, and discovered the IWC. It is no exaggeration to say that this project and the people I met through it have formed the basis of my experience in Maastricht.
Even if it’s not, the shut down feels personal.
According to Sueli’s article on Maastricht Region, The Story of Crossroads, there is already some discussion happening on how this space can be filled, either with or without Crossroads as it is today and I certainly hope something rallys in its place. Crossroads has always been the first site I send to new expats who have discovered my blog and there really ought to be something for our region written by expats, for expats. Without it, where are we going to turn?
How wasteful to abandon 10 years of quality independent journalism and the real relationships that have developed around and with Crossroads Magazine.
And if anyone has started a Facebook page or something, please let me know. I’ll like to be involved.