The (COVID-) 19 Reasons to Support the ‘Santa Barbara Independent’

Our Columnist’s Perfectly Proportioned List of Why to Support This Newspaper Now

Credit: Daniel Dreifuss
‘Indy’ Columnist, Starshine Roshell

1. During a global pandemic, the local news they’re providing literally affects your life. Their reporters are asking tough questions of public health leaders, pushing for answers from our elected officials and introducing us to local heroes who risk their own health to keep us safe. 

2. A steep and sudden drop in ads from restaurants, bars, and event venues has put the Independent in serious financial jeopardy, the likes of which it has never seen before.

3. When news is done well, as the Indy does it, it feels like a public utility — like it’s our right as citizens to have access to the information reporters provide. But it’s not. It’s a business, one that requires income to pay its few tireless reporters. And we could easily become one of the growing number of towns without a legitimate local news source to keep us informed.

4. It’s easy to help: Become an annual subscriber for just $29/year for full access to and/or consider a one-time or recurring donation.

5. All COVID-19-related stories are free to everyone on, regardless of subscriber status. Because news is what they do, for as long as they can do it.

6. Lots of organizations are asking for help right now. But you can’t even begin to assess where your money will make the most impact without the Indy’s in-depth reporting on which businesses are in jeopardy, which nonprofits are launching programs to people in crisis, and what our elected officials are planning for our recovery. Your. Insight. Begins. Here. You rely on it. 

7. When life resumes — and it will — you’re going to want to go out. To eat. To hear music. To gather in parks and at festivals. And the Indy’s pages are how we all know where to go, when to go … and who’s going to be there!

8. They have this one columnist I like. Some hippy name but she makes me laugh.

9. Local Heroes! Best of Santa Barbara! Summer Camp Guide!

10. When several of my colleagues and I found ourselves heartbroken by the sudden capsizing of journalistic integrity at That Other Paper in town, the Independent welcomed us and showed us that honest, courageous, reliable journalism is still being practiced.

11. Mercifully, Indy reporters go to city council, school board, and planning commission meetings so you don’t have to. I mean, this alone, people! 

12. The joint is run by broads — wise, compassionate, whip-smart women from publisher Brandi Rivera to advertising director Sarah Sinclair to editor-in-chief Marianne Partridge, who was the first female editor of Rolling Stone magazine!

13. Trust me, you do not want to share a community with neighbors who vote based solely on what they hear on TV.

14. Thousands of readers pick up the Indy or read it online every week, but only a small percentage of them have signed up since they launched their new subscription model in January — a necessary move in order to evolve and stay relevant in the digital sphere. Did you forget to subscribe? Now’s the time. 

15. My column has run in several newspapers from California to Virginia and the Indy is the only one that has never flinched at my submissions, edited out the juicy bits or asked me to “tone it down.”

16. Nick Fricking Welsh, you guys. It’s no secret Nick is the smartest, funniest, most fearless wise-cracker who ever laid his mitts on a QWERTY. If he would just wax witty about vaginas once in a while, he’d nab that Best Columnist award, but he’s too busy writing about (yawn) things that actually affect our lives.

17. The Independent’s 14th annual St. Patrick’s Day State Street Stroll is only 10 months away!

18. The News-Press just endorsed President Trump for the second time.

19. There will be happy days again. And there will be more disasters. From Fiestas to fires and in between, if we don’t support the institution that we’ve come to take for granted, who will give us the awareness we need and the context we crave to make sense of this unique place we call home?  


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