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Deadline: The news Tucson needs, needs your help

Crunch time! NewsMatch deadline at midnight on New Year's Eve

TucsonSentinel.com's award-winning, in-depth reporting provides details and context — donate now and your investment in authentically local news will be boosted by NewsMatch! Help us bring Tucson even more fearless independent journalism.

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Dear reader,

Ever since TucsonSentinel.com began publishing full-time in early 2010, we've worked hard to bring you news you can trust. In that time, we've published more than 25,000 stories. And we'd venture to guess that you've come to rely on our reporting because no one covers Tucson politics and border/immigration news with the same persistence and integrity as we do.

Now we're relying on you.

Approaching the end of the year, we've been blown away by the generous outpouring of support by our readers! Since the start of the NewsMatch challenge campaign, we have seen so many of you step up, and give to support the important work of TucsonSentinel.com's nonprofit newsroom.

Today is the LAST DAY to donate and have your gift boosted by the special NewsMatch program!

Won't you help us cross the finish line?

'This kind of reporting is urgent.' — Josh Stearns, Democracy Fund

We're in the final hours of the special NewsMatch campaign, and we're ever-so close to our year-end fundraising goal. We still need to raise about $4,000 before midnight.

But even when we meet that initial goal, it's not over yet.

The national funders behind NewsMatch have given us one more challenge: Can you help us reach 100 new donors by the end of the year? Every contribution from a new donor right now — whether you sign up for a monthly gift of $20 or a make a one-time contribution of $50, $200 or $1,000 — counts toward that goal.

Meeting it will mean the Sentinel receives a special bonus grant to help us keep digging into what really matters here in Tucson — and it'll mean you're a member of our Watchdog Club group of supporters who sustain journalism in Tucson.

Will you give today to invest in the real reporting that Tucson needs? This news can't wait.

Our reporters strive every day to bring you and your neighbors hard-hitting, fact-based journalism that provides deep context — and it's this mission that has driven us throughout our entire first decade of reporting at TucsonSentinel.com.

Won't you join the Sentinel in standing up for journalism that makes a difference?

By giving today, you are making sure that TucsonSentinel.com continues to report on Tucson and Pima County with the integrity and tenacity you've come to expect from us.

With gratitude, and on behalf of the entire Sentinel team, wishing you a safe, healthy, prosperous and very happy New Year!

Dylan Smith
Editor & Publisher
TucsonSentinel.com

P.S. Please help us spread the word! Do you have family, friends and colleagues who share your commitment to supporting journalism like ours? Forward this news to them (and thank you in advance!).

P.P.S. We've been around for almost a decade (10 years!) — yes, our tenth birthday will be in January. And we want to grow, and bring you and the rest of Tucson and Pima County even more deep-digging, bone-gnawing watchdog journalism. This year, we were among three finalists for Publisher of the Year among small local news websites across the country. And we were up for a Technology Innovation award sponsored by Facebook, and a national Breaking News award from LION Publishers. And it's with your help that Sentinel senior reporter Paul Ingram was named the Community Journalist of the Year by the Arizona Press Club, and we swept our division in the state's Breaking News awards! This month, TucsonSentinel.com's in-depth reporting on Pima County's controversial decision to set up a shelter for migrants was included in a national list of the best local journalism that's "reshaping the news."

And we've got even bigger plans — there are so many other untold stories we'd dig into if we had even more reporters. Help us grow!

Your donation before the ball drops at midnight will power more investigative reporting, more deeply researched examinations of border and immigration issues, more watchdog journalism about our local officials, and more context about the unique character and culture of our borderlands.

More details...

Sentinel part of good news about crisis in local news

You may have heard: journalism across the country is in serious trouble. Newspapers are struggling to survive, and legacy chain-owned news outlets are facing severe cuts. That's happened over and over again, across the country and right here in Tucson. There are fewer than half the number of newspaper reporters compared to a decade ago.

The good news: authentically local news organizations like TucsonSentinel.com are picking up the slack. Local independent online news publishers, with their talented and dedicated journalists, are helping fill gaps left by bare-bones "zombie newspapers" and growing "news deserts" across America.

The Sentinel is growing, steadily and with focus, and become a national leader in a movement to rebuild local journalism.

But we can't do this alone. TucsonSentinel.com relies on local small business sponsors and supporting members to publish hard-hitting and meaningful original journalism from local reporters working for a truly local news organization.

National kudos for Sentinel's local reporting

Our work this summer "exposed the behind-the-scenes maneuvering involved in creating an Arizona shelter for asylum-seekers newly released by immigration authorities. The reporting resulted in a more open process, including a special Board of Supervisors meeting," wrote Joshua Stearns, the director of the Democracy Fund's Public Square Program, in an assessment of how local nonprofit news organizations like TucsonSentinel.com are "working to rebuild journalism that serves the public interest."

Stearns picked "24 amazing stories" reported by some of the top nonprofit news organizations in the country, highlighting the Sentinel among them as he detailed the impact and importance of supporting local news. The Democracy Fund is one of the backers of the NewsMatch program, which is DOUBLING every donation to TucsonSentinel.com through the end of December.

The Sentinel's probing reporting on the topic was also included in "The Best of Nonprofit News" for 2019 by the Institute for Nonprofit News.

TucsonSentinel.com carried out a month-long investigation into Pima County's approval of converting a vacant juvenile detention center into a shelter for migrant families legally seeking asylum.

In his piece, published by Buzzfeed, Stearns wrote:

The growing impact of nonprofit news is critical because around the country at least 1,300 communities have lost their local commercial newspapers, and many more are served by newsrooms half the size they once were. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics newsrooms are shrinking faster that coal mining, fishing and steel production. When communities lose local news they lose access to critical local information, they lose a watchdog that holds local leaders accountable, and they lose a forum for civil debate and discussion.

In 2019, local reporting and investigative journalism by nonprofit newsrooms has saved lives, revealed corruption, and sparked meaningful change. The Institute of Nonprofit News has collected more than 100 examples of powerful reporting that addresses urgent issues facing our communities and our nation. I highlight 24 of them below, with descriptions lightly edited for length and clarity.

This kind of reporting is urgent. It serves communities and changes lives, and now more than ever we all have a role to play in its future. That's why I work with NewsMatch.org, which helps readers find and support the non-profit newsrooms covering the issues and communities they care about.

A decade of commitment

Since we began publishing full-time in the winter of 2010, TucsonSentinel.com has brought local readers more than 25,000 news stories that are directly relevant to life in Southern Arizona.

We don't re-post clickbait weird news stories from Florida and New Jersey, and don't heedlessly copy and paste press releases without asking questions. What we do is real reporting, with facts that are checked and stories carefully edited — that's why so many readers have grown to trust our work, and support it. And that's why insiders with hot news tips know they can trust us to tell the story right.

But we can only do our work with your help.

We're very thankful for the support of recent donors like Edna Gray, Mark Napier (yes, the sheriff), Melissa Vito, Noam Chomsky (the world's most-cited living academic says we're "quite a good rag"), Brian Bickel, Tom Collier, Si Schorr, David Coombs, Linda Seberger, Herschella Horton, Curtis McCrary, Tom Volgy, David Schaller, Chuck Huckelberry (the county administrator always seems to give right after we publish a negative story about the county), Sharon Bronson (one of Chuck's bosses), Bill Risner, Marianne & Chuck Freitas, Lucy Del Giorgio, Susan Carmody, Sally Sumner, Betsy Bolding, Martha Lynne, Vivienne Ng, Monica Franzi Humbles, Kristel Foster, Corinne Cooper, Robin Hoover, C.T. Revere (former ace reporter), Bryn Bailer, Mohyeddin Adbulaziz, Greg McNamee, David Yetman, David Safier, Jim Nintzel (even the competition supports us), Jim Tucker, Beth Borozan, Bill Buckmaster (he of the smooth radio tones), Mark Kimble, Sylvia Lee, JD Wallace (somebody who knows a thing or two about quality journalism), as well as Tom Zoellner, Steve Seigel, Tony Davis (current ace reporter), Terry Bracy, Ron Barber (regular readers will recognize that name), Kate Kenski, Donna Gratehouse, Dan Sorenson, Hilda Oropeza, Byron Howard, Justin Sayers, Steve Barancik, Phil Lopes, Jean-Paul Bierny, Alan Fischer, Tom Tronsdal, Elizabeth Cherry and so many others!

Please join them today — the deadline to have your gift boosted by NewsMatch is Dec. 31!

Subscribe and stretch your donation over time:

$10/mo. Cub Reporter
$15/mo. Printer's Devil
$20/mo. Stringer
$40/mo. Correspondent
$50/mo. Senior Correspondent
Enter your own monthly amount (number only)

Or give a secure one-time gift with PayPal or your credit card:

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

For a small newsroom like ours, NewsMatch is a game-changer. These funds not only sustain our current reporting efforts, but will allow us to add reporters and expand our coverage—at a time when legacy news chains controlled by hedge funds and conglomerates are slashing staff at an alarming rate (and are poised to cut even more).

Funds raised from this campaign go toward supporting journalism which strengthens our democracy. Every day, journalists in nonprofit newsrooms like TucsonSentinel.com dig deeper into the raw news of the day to deliver in-depth and investigative reporting that engages communities, advances solutions, and demands accountability. Our journalism informs. Our journalism matters. And our journalism is worth supporting.

This news can’t wait. So why would you?


NewsMatch is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Democracy Fund, Facebook Journalism Project, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, Gates Family Foundation/Colorado Media Project, Natasha and Dirk Ziff, Present Progressive Fund at Schwab Charitable and REI Co-op, in partnership with The Miami Foundation, the Institute for Nonprofit News and the News Revenue Hub.


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Donate to TucsonSentinel.com today, to support our independent reporting into 2020!

Subscribe and stretch your donation over time:

$10/mo. Cub Reporter
$15/mo. Printer's Devil
$20/mo. Stringer
$40/mo. Correspondent
$50/mo. Senior Correspondent
Enter your own monthly amount (number only)

Or give a secure one-time gift with PayPal or your credit card:

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

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TucsonSentinel.com publishes analysis and commentary from a variety of community members, experts, and interest groups as a catalyst for a healthy civic conversation; we welcome your comments. As an organization, we don't endorse candidates or back specific legislation. All opinions are those of the individual authors.