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From the editor

Sentinel hits second birthday

It's been two years since TucsonSentinel.com hit the Internet, two years of long hours, quick lunches and lengthy City Council meetings, two years since we posted our "Hello World" story.

Since our launch, TucsonSentinel.com has gained a reputation - both local and national - as the news website that gets it first, and gets it right.

In that time, we've had dozens of dedicated local journalists contribute their efforts to the cause of quality reporting. We've posted over 6,500 stories about Tucson and Southern Arizona, and news from outside the region that you won't get from other local sources.

Our mission is to be a source of quality local reporting and a platform for a respectful community conversation. While thousands of journalism jobs across the country have vanished (and many much closer to home), TucsonSentinel.com continues the in-depth reporting and memorable storytelling that is essential to democracy.

Walking the walk

Some two-year-olds are just learning to walk. I believe we're hitting our stride.

We've led the way with solid reporting of the Jan. 8 shooting and its aftermath over the past year. In addition to breaking news and debunking rumors on our website, our reporters appeared on radio programs worldwide to discuss the Tucson tragedy, from Australia to Wales.

We've brought our readers complete long-form video of local events, including an hour-long documentary of Tucson police and fire remembrances of 9/11; and an exclusive interview and photographs by an ex-Southern Arizonan who has severe health problems from his work as a firefighter in the post-attack cleanup at Ground Zero.

This past year, we were the first to bring you news that the City Council had fired City Manager Mike Letcher, and the first to report that Rick Grinnell had received enough write-in votes to make November's ballot. In fact, we delivered the news to Grinnell personally, before anybody else had told him. Sometimes online news comes with a congratulatory handshake.

Like what you're reading? Support high-quality local journalism and help underwrite independent news without the spin.

Our in-depth stories on border issues points to our dedication to continuing coverage of important issues. Reports on the Solyndra bankruptcy and Fast and Furious investigation were posted on TucsonSentinel.com long before the mainstream media picked up on those stories.

We've worked with national partners to investigate environmental enforcement in Arizona, and brought you border reporting from the Texas Tribune, Pro Publica and others.

Farther afield, we beat the websites of the New York Times and Washington Post in reporting the death of Osama bin Laden as news of the raid on his Pakistan compound unfolded overnight.

We've used the power of the Internet to bring you that story, along with the trenchant editorial cartoons of East Asian Bureau Chief Roberto De Vido and the political commentary of Tucsonan-turned-D.C.-denizen Jimmy Zuma.

Beyond hard news, we've delivered unparalleled coverage of local soccer by Ted Prezelski and Josh Pearson, and insightful reviews of Tucson's theatre scene by Dave Irwin.

Reader feedback

Our readership has steadily grown, as more Tucsonans turn to a news source they trust for evenhanded reporting and a quality civic discussion.

Those readers have given us wonderful kudos — via comments, emails and even old-fashioned letters — that have been truly touching at times.

Not all news is good news, but you know good reporting when you see it:

"Our nation would be in much better shape if more media outlets took the time to find the facts and report them as you do." — T.E.

"People are going to be looking more and more to the Sentinel. A new day for solid reporting is breaking." — B.M.

"Tucson Sentinel, I love and deeply respect your coverage of the real news in our good Old Pueblo. Tucson rocks and so do you. Your reporting of Gabby's progress gets a tear from me nearly every post. Your journalism has heart, courage and lots and lots of love for our beautiful city." — B.V.

"I currently rank yours as the best news outlet in Tucson.... Keep up the good work." — S.J.

"And the Tucson Sentinel is once again the first to report the news." — C.R.

"Kudos to @tucsonsentinel for breaking and "un-breaking" stories (and beating the rest of us oftentimes)." — R.R.

"I want you to continue and thrive. I'm telling everyone I know about TucsonSentinel.com." — J.O.


Doing credible work takes a dedicated team. We've been lucky to have some hard-nosed reporters and grizzled photographers step up and contribute their work.

A year ago, on our first birthday, there didn't seem to be much to celebrate in this town. Now, here's a belated glass raised to all those who've pitched in, with time and effort and yes, money: Slainte!

Support TucsonSentinel.com today, because a smarter Tucson is a better Tucson.

To the many reporters, photographers and editors who have worked so hard on this project: thank you. TucsonSentinel.com wouldn't be what it is without the tireless efforts of so many. Thanks to Mike Truelsen and Maggie Golston, who helped launch the good ship Sentinel. A special tip of a battered fedora goes in the direction of News Editor Janet Rose Jackman, who is seemingly never more than a step from her desk, day or night.

To my ever-patient wife, Maria: Yes, I'll have a day off some day.

To our readers: Thank your for your readership and support. Keep reading, sharing our stories and commenting. You are a vital part of the conversation.

This is your town, and your stories we work to share; you cast the votes and make the decisions about our future. We are here to try to ensure that we make informed choices, and hopefully wise ones.

Remember, the press is in peril in the United States. The old model of journalism is broken, as evidenced by the shuttering of newspapers and constant layoffs of reporters. Giant multinational corporations have proven ineffective at connecting with their communities. The pressures of Wall Street have put the lid on necessary innovations.

We believe that just as an unexamined life is not worth living, an unexamined city is not worth living in.

Play your part

A metropolitan area of nearly 1 million deserves a vital and sustainable source of news. TucsonSentinel.com sets out to be that watchdog, but we need your help.

Spread the word: Tell your friends about us; share our stories on Facebook and Twitter.

Support us: If you have a business or organization, become a sponsor and reach our involved, engaged readers while you demonstrate your involvement in creating a healthier, more informed Tucson. You can reach a growing audience at a fraction of the cost of other media.

Please donate to TucsonSentinel.com or become a sponsor today, and help ensure that we can continue to bring you independent news without the spin.

TucsonSentinel.com relies on contributions from our readers to support our reporting on Tucson's civic affairs. Donate to TucsonSentinel.com today!
If you're already supporting us, please encourage your friends, neighbors, colleagues and customers to help support quality local independent journalism.

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have your say   

Latest comments on this storyRead all 4 »

Jan 22, 2012, 4:40 pm
-0 +3

Superbly expressed, Dylan. I’m proud to be a contributor. Congratulations!

Jan 22, 2012, 4:10 pm
-0 +3

Happy Birthday Tucson Sentinel, the vanguard of internet reporting and journalism, now come of age.

Jan 22, 2012, 12:21 pm
-0 +3

Happy Birthday Sentinel! You got a good thing here. Keep doing what you’re doing. Stay the course and you’ll get where you need to go.


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