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Kickstarter deadline for Panorama: Photos of the entire Az-Mexico border

Stretch goals and matching challenges

Time is running out; please pledge before Saturday's deadline: support TucsonSentinel.com's "Panorama de la linea," an unprecedented effort to capture a photograph from every mile of the Arizona-Mexico border — all 373.5 of them. You can contribute on Kickstarter, and join those who are supporting local indie news!

Update, Saturday: Wow, we've nearly tripled our original goal, but we have just a few hours remaining until our deadline! We've hit both of our stretch goals, but still need people to back us before time runs out Saturday.

We've got great news: we hit our conservative target of $5,000 and then some! And that's thanks to people just like you, joining together to invest in this important project and the work of TucsonSentinel.com.

THANK YOU!

We're flattered and humbled by how enthused people are about our effort, and how willing they are to invest in us. We were fully funded in just two weeks, but we only have hours left in our Kickstarter, so we're pushing toward new stretch goals for Panorama de la linea.

We’ve also sweetened the pot with expanded rewards for our Kickstarter backers. Increasing our backing will allow us to expand the scope of our project, and the depth of our investigative work, and bring it to even more people. We'll be able to undertake even more reporting trips to remote areas, improve our video equipment, and expand the number of people we interview.

Matching challenges

Here's what we need to do to make that happen:

Done: We've topped $8,300, so A GENEROUS DONOR MATCHED $2,000 IN CONTRIBUTIONS DOLLAR-FOR-DOLLAR, bumping our total over $10K — twice our base goal!

Done: Plus, We have at least 200 INDIVIDUAL BACKERS, SO THAT ENTHUSIASTIC DONOR IS ABOUT TO KICK IN ANOTHER $1,000 to the total.

And here's the real kicker — if we really put the crowd in crowd-funding and double that target by raising $23,000 total via this Kickstarter, that would TRIGGER A $35,000 MATCHING GRANT to TucsonSentinel.com from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation!

So pledge today and help put us over the top!

If you haven't already, please back "Panorama" today to ensure that we'll to put this great team of journalists out in the field, taking the photos and reporting the interviews that'll tell the story of the borderlands in a way that's never been done before. If you have pledged your support, please help spread the word: tell your friends and family about the project!

Here's a video with more info about Panorama, and how our Kickstarter project works:

Providing a sense of place, rather than reinforcing rhetoric, the independent nonprofit TucsonSentinel.com will put you there, on the ground, in the heat of the desert canyons and high on the mountain peaks.

We'll do what no one has ever done before: Capture an image from every mile of the Arizona-Mexico border. Not only will we show you the sweep of the terrain, we'll build a deep online interface for you to explore, with multiple-image slideshows of pivotal places, video and text interviews with residents, historical descriptions, and more — and we'll geocode everything and place it on an interactive map. Plus, we'll publish a limited-edition high-quality photography book on the project, and you can have a signed copy — and your contribution to the project can earn you a tax deduction!

We'll also mount a gallery exhibit of the photography, and hold roundtable discussions about our reporting.

With the issues of illegal immigration, drug smuggling and border security still topping headlines across the nation, many wonder why the United States doesn't have a more impassable southern boundary.

Even in Southern Arizona, much less in Nebraska or Ohio, people aren't aware of the extreme difficulty of following U.S. Sen. John McCain's suggestion to "just build the dang fence."

While many have seen news photos of the border fence running along a well-maintained road, much of the border between Arizona and Mexico runs through rugged terrain. Stretches cross steep mountains that are untracked and nearly impenetrable.

For some, the border is a matter of life and death. Migrants die lost in the vast desert, far from roads or water. Suspected drug smugglers and Mexican teenagers die, shot by Border Patrol agents. U.S. agents are shot and killed, by "rip crews" and friendly fire in the dark.

A girl holds a signs that reads 'Not one more death' during a protest in the Mexican border city of Nogales, Sonora, marking the one-year anniversary of the the shooting death of 12-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez.

A girl holds a signs that reads 'Not one more death' during a protest in the Mexican border city of Nogales, Sonora, marking the one-year anniversary of the the shooting death of 12-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez.

For others, the border means business. Customs agents approve truckloads of vegetables moving north. Tourists go south, for lunch and cheap prescription drugs. 

Whether the rocky cliffs of the Baboquivari and Chiricahua mountains, the complexities of the Tohono O'odham Nation's reservation being bisected by the border, environmental restrictions or the objections of private landowners, the physical challenges to constructing a "secure" border barrier are numerous.

Rather than simply describe those difficulties, the "Panorama de la línea" project will show them to you with an unprecedented effort to capture a photograph from every mile of the Arizona-Mexico border — all 373.5 of them.

But to put our reporters in the field, we need your help. Please pledge today — you can receive a signed photograph, a limited-edition hardcover book, or even fly with us along the border!

Jeff Zeidman, a resident of Green Valley, holds up a copy of the Constitution to highlight his point about the failure of the federal government during a town hall with U.S. Sen. John McCain in 2013. Photo by Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

Jeff Zeidman, a resident of Green Valley, holds up a copy of the Constitution to highlight his point about the failure of the federal government during a town hall with U.S. Sen. John McCain in 2013. Photo by Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

What we'll do

Travel the entire length of the Arizona-Mexico border: taking photographs, interviewing residents and government officials, and providing a deep sense of place while giving context to the border debate.

The "Panorama" will include a deep multimedia interface, combining photographs with interviews, investigative reporting, profiles, and video work.

We'll publish a limited-edition book based on the project, produce a video documentary about it, and mount a gallery show to celebrate the photography and reporting that will result — all with your help. And in return for that investment in our work, you can receive some great rewards.

Who we are

The "Panorama de la línea" project brings together a team of experienced photographers, reporters and editors.

It will be managed by TucsonSentinel.com, a nonprofit online news organization with a growing reputation for being a leader in the local independent news movement.

Part of TucsonSentinel.com's "Panorama de la linea" team, from left: Joshua Pearson, Murphy Woodhouse, Paul Ingram, Maria Coxon-Smith, Dylan Smith and Joseph Oland. Mariana Dale of the Arizona Daily Star listens in. Photo by Parker Haeg.

Part of TucsonSentinel.com's "Panorama de la linea" team, from left: Joshua Pearson, Murphy Woodhouse, Paul Ingram, Maria Coxon-Smith, Dylan Smith and Joseph Oland. Mariana Dale listens in. Photo by Parker Haeg.

Dylan Smith is the Editor and Publisher of TucsonSentinel.com. Prior to founding the nonprofit news organization in 2009, he was the Online Editor of the Tucson Citizen, until that newspaper was shut down. He also serves as the founding Chairman of the Board of Directors of Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION Publishers), organizing a group of publishers of more than 110 local news websites across the country. He is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Ochberg Society for Trauma Journalism, and sits on the board of the Arizona Press Club. An experienced designer and programmer, he serves as an Invited Expert on the World Wide Web Consortium's HTML Working Group, helping to write the latest specification for the language that runs the Internet. 

Paul Ingram is the lead reporter and photojournalist for TucsonSentinel's Cuentos sin Cuentos: Unheard Voices and Untold Stories from the Borderlands project, covering the border and immigration issues. An M.A. candidate with University of Arizona's School of Journalism, he is an alumnus of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, and has also been published by Reuters, Arizona Public Media, Truthout, and the Arizona Daily Star. He has produced video pieces for television and web, and his photography has been published in Science Magazine, High Country News, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Noelle Haro-Gomez is a Tucson-based photojournalist who has worked with the Nogales International, Tucson Weekly, Arizona Daily Star, Coachella Valley Independent, Inside Tucson Business and Global Post. She was director of photography for the 2012 Dow Jones News Fund Diversity in Journalism Workshop, and her work has taken her from the Arizona border to Pennsylvania, Cambodia and beyond.

Murphy Woodhouse is a Southern Arizona multimedia journalist who focuses on immigration and daily life in the borderlands. He holds an M.A. degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona and reports for the Nogales International. His writing and photography have been published by Al Jazeera America, Truthout, the Nation, TucsonSentinel.com, and a number of newspapers. He was short-listed for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in 2013 for a report on U.S. immigration policies.

Joseph Michael Oland, with a background in fine art photography and photojournalism, has published his research on Iberian architecture with Brill Publishers, and has worked as a photojournalist for SIPA Press and TucsonSentinel.com. He studied photography at the University of Arizona and worked as an archivist for the UA's Center For Creative Photography. He is a digital restoration artist, commercial retoucher, and a freelance photojournalist based in Bisbee, Arizona.

Samantha Sais is a graduate of the University of Arizona School of Journalism and a Phoenix-based freelance photographer for the New York Times and Reuters. She has worked for the Arizona Daily Star and the Tucson Weekly, and was a photographer for the Beyond the Border cross-cultural journalism project with New York University. A 2011 Chips Quinn scholar, Sais has reported from Kenya as well as all along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Joshua Pearson is a software developer by day and a photographer by night. An 18-year resident of Tucson, he came to the Old Pueblo to study physics at the University of Arizona. The natural beauty of the surrounding desert and mountains drove him to pick up a camera. He hasn't put it down since. The subjects have evolved over time, but the drive to document and to create has only grown. Joshua joined the Tucson Sentinel in 2011.

Parker Haeg has been producing photographs of social issues, spot news and politics for 30 years. He started making images at the contentious Hormel meat packers' strike in Minnesota in the early 1980s and in intervening years has covered the anti-nuclear movement, civil conflicts in Sri Lanka, Yugoslavia and Romania, and Cuba under Fidel Castro. Now based in Arizona, he's spent a decade photographing America's internal struggles with immigration, along with reporting on Arizona's often divisive and always complex political scene. His recent work has appeared in The Guardian, Mother Jones, Le Figaro, and in the documentary film, "The Dream is Now."

Christopher Conover is the senior political reporter for Arizona Public Media, Tucson's NPR and PBS station. He began his news career in 1989 in Miami. Before moving to Tucson a decade ago, he spent 13 years covering the Florida capitol. He was news director of the Florida Public Radio Network. His work has appeared on NPR, the Associated Press, the BBC, and the Canadian Broadcasting System, and been recognized with the Sigma Delta Chi award from the national Society of Professional Journalists, the national Edward R. Murrow award from the Radio Television Digital News Association, three Emmy nominations, and numerous regional awards from the AP and SPJ.

Maria Coxon-Smith is News and Engagement Editor for TucsonSentinel.com, and one of the organization's founders. She is a former high school English and journalism instructor, and also taught International Baccalaureate courses. She attended Kendall College of Art and Design (Grand Rapids, Mich.), earned a B.A. in History at the University of Arizona, and a MAEd from the University of Phoenix.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley hands out communion wafers through the fence that cuts Ambos Nogales in two. The communion was part of a mass, held in the city during a border tour by seven Catholic bishops. Photo by Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

Cardinal Sean O'Malley hands out communion wafers through the fence that cuts Ambos Nogales in two. The communion was part of a mass, held in the city during a border tour by seven Catholic bishops. Photo by Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

An honor guard stood watch over the boots, rifle and helmet of slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry at a 2011 memorial service. Photo by Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.com

An honor guard stood watch over the boots, rifle and helmet of slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry at a 2011 memorial service. Photo by Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.com

Undocumented children ride a bus entering the Nogales Border Patrol Station in June 2014, part of a wave of thousands of Central American kids who entered the United States. Photo by Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

Undocumented children ride a bus entering the Nogales Border Patrol Station in June 2014, part of a wave of thousands of Central American kids who entered the United States. Photo by Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

Unprecedented

Most photographs of the border have a common presentation: a long shot of the border fence, stretching to infinity. A BP agent, watching the line. Perhaps migrants, picking their way through the desert.

Our team will break through the familiar themes, and provide our supporters with a deeper look at the borderlands.

Mapping out the Panorama. Photo by Parker Haeg.

Mapping out the Panorama. Photo by Parker Haeg.

The operating principle: the basis of the project is a photo from every mile of the border; not merely a photo of every mile.

More than a travelogue, more deeply reported than a photo essay, we'll use a string of hundreds of amazing photos to show the complexity of the border. You'll see the deceptive emptiness of the deserts of Western Arizona, the pockets of green hidden in the canyons, and the endless view from the 6,800-foot Kitt Peak.

The public has long been restricted from some areas along the border, such as the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. Others have no roads, or even trails. Some stretches we will have to photograph from an airplane, as there's no reasonable way to reach them on the ground.

We will conduct investigative interviews, both along the border and with experts, and present our work in a sophisticated interactive multimedia presentation. Video, mapping, photo slideshows, primary source documents and text will be integrated into our work.

We'll dig deeply into the expense of what's been constructed already, and how effective the Border Patrol's strategy has been, as well as what it would take to actually build a fence the entire stretch of Arizona's southern border.

Haeg, Pearson, Woodhouse and Ingram examine a map during a meeting of the Panorama team. Photo by Dylan Smith

Haeg, Pearson, Woodhouse and Ingram examine a map during a meeting of the Panorama team. Photo by Dylan Smith

Photo by Parker Haeg

Photo by Parker Haeg

This just in: New stretch goals & matching challenges

Your support can be doubled or more when we meet our challenge grants!

We've got great news: we hit our conservative target of $5,000 and then some! We're at almost 250% of our goal. And that's thanks to people just like you, joining together to invest in this important project and the work of TucsonSentinel.com.

PLEASE PLEDGE TODAY TO HELP US DOUBLE OUR FUNDING, BY MEETING OUR GENEROUS CHALLENGE GRANTS!

We'll be able to undertake even more reporting trips to remote areas, improve our video equipment, and expand the number of people we interview.

So pledge today and help put us over the top!

Here’s what we'll do now that we've hit that first $8.3k stretch goal:

  • Exclusive email updates for all backers
  • Expanding our team: photographers, coders, designers
  • Upgrade our equipment: Better video gear
  • Pick your own photos
  • Coffee with Panorama team members
  • You can be an editor for the day

Because our backers helped us hit our $8.3k stretch goal, ALL OF OUR BACKERS will receive EXCLUSIVE EMAIL UPDATES on the progress of the project over the next few months, with behind-the-scenes photos and details on our work as it's happening in the field.

Because we hit this stretch goal, we'll be able to EXPAND OUR TEAM: we'd like to include even more experienced photographers, add a coding and data expert to augment our investigative resources, and our designers will be able to ensure that our work is responsive and looks great in a desktop browser, on a tablet or a cellphone.

For all of our backers, you're contributing to our EQUIPMENT FUND. While our photographers go into the field with thousands of dollars of camera gear — sometimes with tens of thousands in specialized lenses — we need to also upgrade our video equipment, including a full-featured camera, audio gear and editing software. What's that mean for our backers? Even more great video interviews and insight into what's happening on the border, both during the Panorama project and in TucsonSentinel.com's ongoing work.

And here's a great additional perk: because we hit our first stretch goal, everyone who's eligible to receive a print from the project will be able to PICK THEIR OWN PHOTOS. We'll give backers the opportunity to choose which prints they'll receive from a selection of the most striking and meaningful photos from our Panorama.

Since we hit our stretch goal, all of our backers at the $150 and $200 levels can join members of the Panorama team for A CUP OF COFFEE and a personal discussion about the challenges of the project (donors at levels higher than that can join us for an amazing Mexican meal).

Plus, since we hit that target, all of our backers who've pledged $250 or more will be invited to BE AN EDITOR FOR THE DAY!

You can help our editorial team review photographs from Panorama, as we pick which pics make the books, which will be featured in our interactive online interface, and which are included in the archive. We'll eat some great Mexican food, drink coffee and probably sip a few beers as we look at the photos our team has created as they capture at least one photo from every mile of the Arizona-Mexico border. Which will the public see? You can help us pick. We'll provide a selection of dates when you can join us in Tucson to have a hands-on role in the project.

We hit the stretch goal of $8,300 (which meant a quick bump to $10,300, thanks to the generous challenge match), and all of our eligible backers will receive the additional rewards. With these stretch goals, we're working to make Panorama even more wide-ranging — with your help, we can do just that.

200 backers

200 or more people have backed Panorama, so we'll see a $1,000 addition to our total, thanks to a challenge from a supporter.

Since we hit that target, we'll make sure that everyone who pledges at the $10 level or above can download the e-book of the project.

Spread the word! 

We're fully funded, but we've got ambitious stretch goals and a very generous set of matching challenges to meet. If you haven't kicked in yet, you still can. Our initial goal was very conservative — now we can expand our project with your help.

If you have already become a backer, we could still use your help — encourage your friends, family and colleagues to pledge, even if it's just $5. 

Click here to share on Facebook and invite people to join you in supporting us.

Click here to share on Twitter and tell people you're backing us.

Copy this link into an email, and send it to friends and family who will appreciate Panorama: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tucsonsentinel/panorama-de-la-linea-photos-of-the-entire-az-mexic

I'm really excited about this project. It's been in the works for over a year, with so much planning and brainstorming and discussion behind the scenes — and several reporting trips already in the books. But it's tremendous to see things coming together, and both the Panorama team and our backers on Kickstarter are contagious in their enthusiasm for quality reporting on difficult issues.

While we're a nonprofit, what we really are is a mission-driven organization: we want to provide people with news that's clear, comprehensive, concise, compelling, and caring.

If you believe in our mission, join others in backing this unprecedented effort, and help spread the word: you can make your investment in TucsonSentinel.com go further if you let people know you are a backer and encourage your friends to join our campaign.

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Help us Kickstart the Panorama project!

Join those supporting "Panorama de la linea" on Kickstarter, and you could receive a limited-edition hardcover book of photos from the project, have dinner with the reporting team, or even fly along as we cover inaccessible areas from an airplane.

Updates

Friday, Jan. 30: We've got just one day remaining in our Kickstarter campaign, and we've hit 230 percent of our base goal. Thank you! But we still need to have at least 200 backers before time runs out Saturday. Please join with our other backers and make your pledge now.

Wednesday, Jan. 28: We've more than doubled our original $5k goal, and we've still got a few days left! Please join in backing Panorama today, before Saturday's deadline!

Thursday, Jan. 22: In recognition of our five years of publishing, it's TucsonSentinel.com Day in Tucson.

Wednesday, Jan. 21: We've pushed past 150 percent of our goal. Thanks to all of our backers.

Sunday, Jan. 18: New stretch goals and matching challenges announced! If we hit a stretch goal of $8,300, we'll be adding some great new rewards for backers, and a generous donor will put in another $2,000 as a challenge grant match. Plus, if we have 200 or more backers, they'll add another $1,000.

Friday, Jan. 16: Fully funded! Not only did we stretch well beyond our conservative base goal on Friday, were tapped as the Project of the Day, out of the more than 4,600 live projects on Kickstarter. Previously, we were chosen as the Featured Project in Kickstarter's journalism section, as well as a Staff Pick.

Categories

news, politics & government, border, business, crime & safety, family/life, media & journalism, local, arizona, opinion, editorial, nation/world, mexico/latin america, breaking

TucsonSentinel.com publishes analysis and commentary from a variety of community members, experts, and interest groups as a catalyst for a healthy civic conversation; we welcome your comments. As an organization, we don't endorse candidates or back specific legislation. All opinions are those of the individual authors.