Dear Readers,

As we begin the new year, the staff of the Santa Barbara Independent remains dedicated to reporting on the stories that shape our community. This doesn’t happen by accident. Our work requires constant attention to emerging details that demand examination, a steady connection to the sources who can shed light on those stories, and an experienced, nuanced understanding of which topics matter and why.

This process takes time. It takes money.

If our reporting on the Santa Barbara community matters to you, we hope you will join us in securing a strong future for journalism in our region by supporting the Independent through a digital subscription to, our nationally awarded website.

It’s no secret that the press is under assault, both politically and by an ever-changing market. Media organizations across the world are exploring additional ways to support journalism.

In order to expand our reporting capabilities, we believe that the subscription model for full access to presents an opportunity that’s affordable to many of our loyal readers while providing a powerful boost to our reporting resources. 

The print version of the Independent will always be free, as will breaking news and our comprehensive event listings. 

From our first issue in 1986 to today, the Independent has covered every aspect of Santa Barbara life, from arts and culture to politics, the environment, education, and the diverse opinions held by our community. 

With enhanced resources, our commitment will be to enlarge the newsroom, increase our news output, and deliver the information you need to make decisions about your life, whether it’s who to vote for or which theater performance to attend. 

In our continued commitment to our community, we consulted with the Independent Advisory Board—made up of a wide range of community members— all of whom enthusiastically support this venture.

We decided to embark on this mission with another Santa Barbara business, Together, we’ve developed a model where frequent readers can support the Independent through annual and monthly subscriptions to For more casual readers, we are also providing a way to pay for individual articles. 

The subscription service will go into effect on Monday, January 13. Readers who visit will find that while many articles will remain free, others will require payment to read the entire story.

We encourage you to subscribe for the annual rate of $29.99, which we believe represents a substantial value for the daily reporting, analysis, and insight provided on all year long.

Thank you for picking up our print paper, supporting our advertisers, attending our events, and now subscribing to


Brandi Rivera   and  Marianne Partridge 
Publisher                     Editor in Chief