Joe Cole and Marianne Partridge

We’re coming to the end of a pivotal year at The Santa Barbara Independent. We continue to thrive as our community’s strongest publication, and we are proud that remains the most widely visited website in the region and that Paul Wellman was named the best weekly newspaper photographer in the country.

Our commitment to being involved in the life of Santa Barbara beyond our office walls is also growing. Staff members serve as advisors to numerous nonprofit organizations, arts institutions, and other charitable entities. And on Tuesday, we expect our publisher, Joseph L. Cole, will be appointed to the Montecito Planning Commission.

Because of that, I’m writing this to let you know that some things have not and will never change at The Independent. In what has become a relatively rare reality in contemporary media, there remains a very distinct wall between the editorial and business sides of The Independent. That means all editorial content development and decision-making occurs without influence from the business department. This “separation of church and state” is protected by our company bylaws and our own personal honor. As cofounder, co-owner, and editor in chief since the paper’s inception 28 years ago, I take full responsibility for all editorial operations of The Independent.

Our commitment to excellent journalism, thorough news reporting, and editorial freedom will never waver. So it’s with great confidence that I congratulate Joe on his appointment. Good luck with the Miramar!


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