Welcome to TucsonSentinel.com!
Nonprofit news site launches
After months of planning and preparation, it’s time to take TucsonSentinel.com 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 TucsonSentinel.com 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
TucsonSentinel.com 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, TucsonSentinel.com 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 goal is to build a sustainable nonprofit business model that delivers quality reporting in a competitive media environment. TucsonSentinel.com provides evenhanded professionally produced journalism.
While thousands of journalism jobs across the country have vanished, TucsonSentinel.com 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.
TucsonSentinel.com 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.
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. TucsonSentinel.com sets out to be that watchdog.