The former Editor-in-Chief Dmitry Rashnitsov and News Editor Jeremy Jones of the Florida Agenda, one of South Florida's few bastions of serious journalism targeted at the gay community, have abruptly quit after they believed publishers tried to censor them. Rashnitsov had relinquished his role as EIC but was still writing part-time for the paper when he began work on a piece about a rash of pickpockets targeting Living Room nightclub in Fort Lauderdale during their popular Friday night gay party. Problem was Living Room is a prominent advertiser in the Agenda's sister magazine, Mark's List, and wanted the story killed.
South Florida Gay News, another gay newspaper, reports that Rashnitsov lost his phone while out at the club and quickly discovered it wasn't an isolated incident. Police told him that they regularly received reports every Friday night of at least six to ten people losing phones and wallets at the club. Police believe Living Room may be targeted by an organized group of pickpockets.
Incidentally, Riptide has heard similar stories stemming from as long ago as early last year in which a stranger approaches victims, brings them to the dance floor and then makes off with their wallet and phone.
Rashnitsov informed Jones of the story, and he began asking around and reached out to the club's owner Mark Lowe. Lowe never got back to Jones, but he believes he pressured his publishers to have the story dropped by threatening to pull advertising from Mark's List.
Mark's List is a website and weekly magazine that features event listings, pictures, and short, frivolous articles. It's owned by the Multimedia Platforms LLC, which also owns the Agenda. Living Room's Friday night party is a major advertiser in the magazine.
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"The problem is still there, and the thefts are still happening," Jones told SFGN. "Patrons and the community had a right to know about it."
Both Jones and Rashnitsov, who are partners, only worked part-time for the Agenda.