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Reader survey

What you're saying: 'I trust the Sentinel'

Responding to our ongoing survey, readers of TucsonSentinel.com have offered welcome praise and much-appreciated input on our work.

"Local news of substance," one described the reporting of our nonprofit local news organization, while another simply said we are "Pithy. Forthright. Necessary."

One reader said the Sentinel provides "informed, frank reporting," and another said we offer "local, factual, unbiased, true news with no corporate or political ties."

Asked how TucsonSentinel.com should be described to new readers, one explained, "I would tell them that Tucson Sentinel is a pioneering independent news organization that seeks to report on issues relevant to Southern Arizona that might not get the coverage they deserve from other news outlets that are beholden to their shareholders. It's a model for independent journalism and the way news organizations should work today."

"Responsive, in tune with current issues and gutsy," one said, while another said our reporting is "smart, timely, bold and more sophisticated local coverage than any other source. I often seek out the Sentinel’s coverage on a topic or incident, and often seek additional information after learning something from the Sentinel. I trust the Sentinel."

We asked readers to weigh in on which of our recent investigative and breaking news stories was the most important.

At the top of the list, slightly more than 45 percent considered our reporting about a bill, co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, that would have exempted the Border Patrol from Freedom of Information laws as our most valuable recent story.

Eighteen percent of those surveyed thus far thought our breaking the news about Arizona's Republican congressmen pushing to rescind national monuments in our state was our best work this year, while 15 percent rated as most important our story about a decorated Marine veteran who may be deported despite having claims to citizenship.

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"This is the only place I learn the different perspectives about local issues," said one survey respondent. "I can read about national issues elsewhere, but this is the only place I get that level of information about local issues."

"Strong investigative reporting, very little fluff," said one reader.

TucsonSentinel.com "attempts to be what journalism is supposed to be. It writes about the different sides of an issue and makes the issues relevant to our local community," said another.

"I wouldn't change a thing," said one, nodding at our coverage of local politics and the "What the Devil won't tell you" column.

But, beyond the flattering words, many readers had well-thought-out concrete suggestions.

Several readers praised our commitment to investigative journalism, and called for even more of it. They asked for more coverage of local school district spending, more looks at suburbs such as Marana and Oro Valley, more stories on Native American tribal issues, reporting on the environment and "malfeasance being foisted upon us by elected officials."

"Your border coverage is phenomenal," said one, asking that we do even more stories on public records and the responsiveness of local elected officials.

"Our citizens need tools and specific instructions on how they can be effective citizens," said another.

If you haven't yet told us what you think of our work, please do.

Valued readers like you are at the heart of everything TucsonSentinel.com has published, and truly do we want to hear from you.

Below are our some of our most important recent stories. Choose the one that left the biggest mark on you. Your input allows us to cover Tucson politics, public policy and border and immigration issues with your perspective and needs in mind — and your feedback might even spark a couple of unexpected story ideas.

Here's a sampling of the sort of exclusive and in-depth reporting you'll only find on TucsonSentinel.com. Let us know which of these stories moved you the most, made you think more deeply about our community, and told you something you hadn't learned anywhere else.

Since our founding eight years ago, you've come to rely on the reporting of TucsonSentinel.com. A lot of Southern Arizonans have. No one covers local politics, public policy and border and immigration issues with the same skill, integrity and understanding as we do.

Local nonprofit independent media outlets like ours face significant challenges. We frankly struggle with resources and could certainly use another couple of capable reporters digging into what goes on in this town. Tucson needs that.

It takes a lot of energy and scrappiness to uphold the high quality of our reporting.

And it takes money. Our staff are talented professionals, some with decades of experience in investigative and community journalism. And maintaining our computers, website, cameras, replacing worn-out shoe leather and putting gas in trucks for trips through the desert adds to our costs.

To make things work, we rely on donations from readers like you. That's why TucsonSentinel.com needs your help with a tremendous opportunity.

Your gift — doubled!

I'm excited to announce a matching gift opportunity from News Match, a prestigious national campaign to encourage grassroots support for nonprofit news organizations like ours. Starting right now — and until the end of the year — News Match will match — dollar-for-dollar — each donation we receive, up to $1,000 per individual donor.

Will you please give today to invest in the news that you and your neighbors need?

This is an incredible opportunity for us and for you, as one of our loyal readers. With News Match, we could receive as much as $28,000 in additional funding over the next two months. That would be an enormous boost for us as a bootstrapped startup nonprofit.

Donate securely with PayPal

$5,000 Newshound
$2,500 Copy desk chief
$1,000 Trusted source
$500 Correspondent
$250 Stringer
$100 Cub reporter
$50 Printer's Devil
$25 Informed Source
$10 Dear Reader
Enter your own amount (below)

OR: Subscribe and stretch your donation over time

$5/mo. Printer's Devil
$10/mo. Cub Reporter
$20/mo. Stringer
$40/mo. Correspondent
Enter your own monthly amount (number only)

A smarter Tucson is a better Tucson

Keeping Tucson well informed is an important factor in the overall well-being of our community.

The Sentinel's accountability journalism and celebration of Tucson's unique culture has gained respect not just locally, but across the country — that's why we're among the leaders in the growing movement to rebuild local journalism from the ground up (I'm one of the founders of Local Independent Online News Publishers, a national educational nonprofit). It's also why TucsonSentinel.com is among the participants picked for the special opportunity offered by News Match.

Tax-deductible, too

Because TucsonSentinel.com is a nonprofit news organization, any donation you make between now and December 31 not only gets doubled by News Match, but it's also fully tax-deductible. So won't you make a donation today and have it matched, dollar-for-dollar?

This important initiative to strengthen selected nonprofit newsrooms is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Democracy Fund. This is a great opportunity to help us produce more of the strong accountability journalism you have come to expect from TucsonSentinel.com.

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