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About TucsonSentinel.com: Our mission

We learn from & inform Southern Arizonans about the community challenges & unique culture of our Borderlands

TucsonSentinel.com is a nonprofit independent newsroom that learns from and informs Southern Arizonans about the community challenges and unique culture of our Borderlands: "A smarter Tucson is a better Tucson."

Through watchdog reporting, local commentary and expert analysis, the Sentinel inspires residents to be meaningfully engaged with our community, promotes transparency and understanding, seeks solutions that empower, and holds the powerful accountable.

TucsonSentinel.com is the only locally owned source for independent watchdog reporting about our community — we're a small, award-winning nonprofit newsroom that's supported by people who support our mission of deep, authentic journalism that reflects Tucson and Southern Arizona.

In our 12th year of full-time publishing, TucsonSentinel.com has a growing reputation — both locally and nationally — for providing high-quality, balanced reporting on Southern Arizona.

A smarter Tucson is a better Tucson: The ultimate mission of TucsonSentinel.com is to play our role in creating a more informed community that is making wiser choices. A more immediate goal is to dampen rhetoric and foster a respectful dialogue about local and regional issues through solid, reliable accountability journalism.

We’re local, independent and nonprofit. We care about our community and invest our resources back into robust reporting. We maintain professional news standards and provide even-handed, honest journalism.

TucsonSentinel.com is part of the vanguard of Local Independent Online News Publishers, a member of the prestigious Institute for Nonprofit News, and has gained a national reputation for delivering solid, hard-hitting local news. Since our launch, we've posted more than 32,000 stories.

Our work has been referenced by everyone from Maddow to Breitbart, including ABC, NBC, Radio Melbourne, Sirius, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, the Guardian, the New York Times and many more. USA Today, Agence France Presse and many others in the industry press have written about us as a pioneering startup nonprofit news outlet.

What they're saying

Don't just take our word for it: Here's what a few of our readers have told us:

"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.

"Everybody in the country is chasing TucsonSentinel.com again." — B.P.

"TucsonSentinel.com has been spot-on this entire time." — J.H.

"High five for your reporting efforts. You've been doing one hell of a job." — J.L.

"You have done a great job covering this story in a respectful and thorough - yes, that's what journalism is supposed to be - manner. Thank you." — J.E.

"Big news, and the Sentinel's there first. (Again.)" — L.K.

"@TucsonSentinel is the only truly independent news source in Southern AZ for news." — T.T.

"Extremely tough but fair and well-done; another first-class piece of journalism." — PC

"Thank you Tucson Sentinel - you have done the best job on this story. I now know what news source to trust the most in Tucson. " — D.G.

"The Sentinel wins another local reporting contest. Though they didn’t get the story out first, the Sentinel's piece was far more informative, detailed, and lucid then that of its competitors." - B.L.

"Gotta give credit, Dylan Smith at the Tucson Sentinel provides the best political coverage in town .... All the publications have talent, but by far the editorial decisions nod goes to Dylan, and it ain't close." — T.H.

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

Local indie news

Why is your support so important? TucsonSentinel.com is a bootstrapped startup, part of a nationwide movement that's returning local news to its roots while leveraging new technology to effectively and efficiently create informed communities.

Sadly, the free press here in Tucson is threatened. We have very few news organizations that are actually locally owned and operated. Most are controlled by out-of-state corporations, who have laid off reporters and photographers, and cut, and cut again. While we have many talented colleagues committing journalism at news outlets in Tucson, it's a fact that there are hundreds fewer reporters in this city than there were a decade ago.

Instead, there are more public relations operatives for corporations, political organizations, and yes, for government.

What we need are more watchdogs, sniffing out the truth — and that's why TucsonSentinel.com began publishing five years ago. We don't back political candidates or causes, but relentlessly champion the truth — and nothing but. We clearly disclose our sources of funding, and don't allow underwriters or donors to sway our coverage. We uphold the time-honored ethics of professional journalism, mindful of a tradition of dedication and with an an eye to the innovative future.

While we're a nonprofit, what we really are is a mission-driven organization: we work to provide people with news that's clear, comprehensive, concise, compelling, and demonstrates how much we care for this city we call home.

Our editors are among the founders of LION: Local Independent Online News Publishers, a national network representing local indie online news websites, who are successfully creating the future of reporting: locally owned and operated news outlets that directly serve their communities. Sentinel Editor and Publisher Dylan Smith is the founding Chairman of the Board of LION Publishers.

At TucsonSentinel.com, we believe strongly in local independent online news.

We're LOCAL: News about Tucson should be reported by journalists who know Southern Arizona. National and chain-owned news groups don't have the background to put our local news into context. Our reporters and editors are here, our nonprofit organization is headquartered here, and our longterm success depends on Tucson's success in being an informed community that makes wise decisions. We don't just report on Tucson, we live here and love our community.

We're INDEPENDENT: Too much of what gets called "journalism" is motivated by political viewpoints. At TucsonSentinel.com, we're nonpartisan: our only agenda is the truth. In doing the hard work to give you independent news without the spin, we dedicate ourselves to solid reporting that tells you like it is. We're not part of a national chain of cookie-cutter outlets, with news decisions dictated from some shiny HQ in another state. Our reporting reflects what Tucsonans want and need to know. And rather than padding the profits of an out-of-town corporation, all of our revenues are invested in our growing news organization.

We're ONLINE: TucsonSentinel.com leverages the power of the Internet to bring you breaking news as it happens, and in-depth investigative reports on important issues. We innovate in our work, and host a respectful online community conversation on the issues.

We're NEWS: You can find photo galleries of cheerleaders all over the Internet. Whether it's bringing you the news before its history, providing long-form reporting or working with our national investigative journalism partners, we deliver insightful reporting that's relevant to readers in Southern Arizona, and allows the rest of the world to see the borderlands through the eyes of those who live here.

Journalism is an vital public service in a free and democratic society. Investigative reporting uncovers injustice, exposes corruption and holds officials accountable. Community reporting celebrates the unique nature of Tucson's people and culture, reflecting our sense of place through a knowing lens.

We aim to provide both: to point out the things we all love about Southern Arizona, and point to possible solutions for what needs changing. We believe that just as an unexamined life is not worth living, an unexamined city is not worth living in. A metropolitan area of nearly 1 million deserves a vital and sustainable source of news. We aim to be that watchdog.

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Click image to enlarge

Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.com

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild proclaimed Jan. 22, 2015, to be 'TucsonSentinel.com Day,' to mark our fifth anniversary of full-time publishing.

A smarter Tucson is a better Tucson

TucsonSentinel.com is a nonprofit independent newsroom that learns from and informs Southern Arizonans about the community challenges and unique culture of our Borderlands: "A smarter Tucson is a better Tucson."

Through watchdog reporting, local commentary and expert analysis, the Sentinel inspires residents to be meaningfully engaged with our community, promotes transparency and understanding, seeks solutions that empower, and holds the powerful accountable.


REPORTS NEWS on topics that affect you, your family, your neighbors and your business.

ENCOURAGES INTERACTION in civic dialogue that features diverse viewpoints and advocates constructive change.

ENLIGHTENS READERS and invites their contributions to a transparent newsgathering process.

PROVIDES CONTEXT as readers research - and offer - answers via interactive information and data sources.

REINVESTS REVENUE in a nonprofit Tucson-focused alternative to non-local media corporations.

Hot news tip?

Send your news tips and suggestions to news@tucsonsentinel.com.

Snail Mail

For stuff that won't fit through the Interwebz:

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  • Tucson, AZ 85745