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Hello world

Welcome to!

Nonprofit news site launches

After months of planning and preparation, it’s time to take for a shakedown cruise. The local independent nonprofit news site launched Friday morning.

We're very pleased to bring you the very first day of online news and civic dialogue on a website dedicated to bringing you the best in reporting, analysis and debate.

Help us break some champagne over the bow as we launch the good ship Sentinel.

Since this is a shakedown cruise of a brand new site, you might run across a bug or two. Please leave a note in the comments and let us know what you think.

To help test our comment tools, we've created a practice thread, so that new users can experiment.


We've established a network of local correspondents who are dedicated to bringing you quality and timely coverage on a variety of beats.

The border and immigration, local government, Tucson's lively music scene, Wildcat sports and more are topics that will focus on.

Besides the work of our local contributors, we've partnered with a number of national and international news services.

GlobalPost offers incisive reporting from around the world. Kaiser Health News covers the intersection of health, science and politics. ProPublica and the Huffington Post Investigative Fund dig deep into political and economic issues.

Who we are is a local independent nonprofit news organization that offers professional reporting and community conversation on issues that affect Tucson.

We operate a website that offers quality, accessible journalism on local and national events and provides a platform for civic engagement.

With a staff of professional reporters and editors, freelance writers and public contributors, acts as a honest broker of information, filling the need for a virtual roundtable where the community can discuss the issues of the day.

Our objective

Our goal is to build a sustainable nonprofit business model that delivers quality reporting in a competitive media environment. provides evenhanded professionally produced journalism.

While thousands of journalism jobs across the country have vanished, continues the in-depth reporting and memorable storytelling that is essential to democracy. Working with both local and national partners, we will capitalize on the Internet’s latest reporting techniques.

With funding and assistance from local donors, corporate and foundation philanthropy, and creative advertising/sponsorship revenue streams, the Sentinel will stand as a model for a new journalism: online and accessible, mindful of a tradition of dedication and with an innovative future. is owned and operated by Black Mountain Media Inc., a Tucson-based nonprofit corporation.

Why we’re here

The press is in peril in the United States. The old model of journalism is broken.

Giant multinational corporations have proven ineffective at connecting with their communities. The pressures of Wall Street have put the lid on necessary innovations.

Papers around the country are closing - including our own Tucson Citizen - while other media are laying off reporters, editors and producers. Denver’s Rocky Mountain News shut down just shy of its 150th anniversary. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer stopped printing. Arizon’s East Valley Tribune is currently in limbo, and may shut down. Newspapers in Houston, Chicago, the Twin Cities and elsewhere are either in bankruptcy or near to it.

Citizen RIP

In May of 2009, the press of the Tucson Citizen rolled to a halt after 138 years. The newspaper that had reported the Shootout at the O.K. Corral found its spot on Boot Hill.

While Gannett Inc. was pulling the plug on the paper, the Associated Press was closing its local bureau as well. Gannett and Lee Enterprises, the publisher of the Arizona Daily Star, laid off dozens of staffers as their papers’ revenues shrank. Both corporations face crushing debt loads that put a heavy burden on their futures.

Publishers to the north have faced the same troubles. Gannett’s Arizona Republic (Phoenix) laid off 100 workers in its latest round of cuts, while the East Valley Tribune cut 142, including several winners of the Pulitzer Prize. While, the Trib’s owner, the bankrupt Freedom Communications, announced that it would close the paper at the end of 2009, the paper is still clinging to life as it looks for a buyer.

The number of news organizations south of Phoenix is shrinking. The number of reporters watching out for local residents is shrinking. The 65 staffers of the Citizen are no longer hitting the streets to tell Tucson’s stories.

A metropolitan area of nearly 1 million deserves a vital and sustainable source of news. sets out to be that watchdog.

Write for us!

We're always on the look for sharp contributions, opinionated comments and witty opinion pieces. If you'd like to join the team, let us know. We need people who have in-depth knowledge about a particular topic, a passion about that topic and/or a desire to share related insights with others.

Do you have a legitimate solution to the border/immigration issue? Tactics to improve the University of Arizona's basketball and/or football teams? Ideas on Rio Nuevo? Do you have a prediction on the future of the tech industry in Tucson? We're interested in all these topics and more.

Email us at if you'd like to write for us.

Hot news tip?

Send your news tips and suggestions to

What do you think?

Please hop aboard and check out Tucson’s nonprofit independent news source. This is a soft launch; we’re still actively developing many areas of the site.

Based on your feedback, we’ll be able to hunt down any remaining bugs and ensure that is your best source for quality, accessible reporting on local and national events.

Please let us know what you think, your input is very important to us.

What we do

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-locally-owned media corporations.

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