Advertisement
  1. News

Reflecting on the journalism that has made a big difference in Tampa Bay in 2021

Reporting by the Tampa Bay Times this year has given voice to the voiceless and held the powerful to account throughout the region.
Anil Eglais, 62, suffered from a variety of health problems while working at Gopher Resource, the only lead factory in the state of Florida. His story was among those chronicled by a reporting team at the Tampa Bay Times. The series Poisoned has had a significant impact so far. Several other Times stories also made a difference in 2021.
Anil Eglais, 62, suffered from a variety of health problems while working at Gopher Resource, the only lead factory in the state of Florida. His story was among those chronicled by a reporting team at the Tampa Bay Times. The series Poisoned has had a significant impact so far. Several other Times stories also made a difference in 2021. [ MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times ]
Published Nov. 13

This is the season for giving thanks and a time to reflect. Personally, I am grateful to our subscribers, and especially to the thousands of you who have donated to our funds that support our journalism.

As the news publishing business continues to change, support from readers has become increasingly important to all of us at the Tampa Bay Times. Grants and donations help us diversify our revenue with the goal to serve our community for generations to come.

In return, you deserve to know what dividends your investment in local journalism is paying. Here are just a few examples:

Those highlights stand out against a body of steady, strong, local reporting from throughout the Times’ newsroom. We’ve covered every aspect of the pandemic, from our neighbors’ physical health to the health of our economy. We’ve stayed on top of developments in our schools and at our cultural institutions.

We flagged the persistent failures of the state’s unemployment benefits system and the environmental catastrophe of an abandoned phosphate mine at Piney Point. And when everybody needed a lift, we chronicled and celebrated the triumphs of the Bucs, Lightning and Rays.

The work is demanding, and these are difficult times. But we see the difference our journalism can make.

In June, a Times investigation into the Pasco County sheriff’s department won the Pulitzer Prize for local reporting. Reporters Kathleen McGrory and Neil Bedi exposed how deputies harassed local residents, including school kids. That series, Targeted, sparked multiple investigations, legal challenges and — ultimately — restrictions on the program.

It was the 13th Pulitzer for the Times. We’re the only news organization to receive journalism’s highest honor three times in the local reporting category. That says a lot about our focus and our commitment.

Related: Contribute to the Tampa Bay Times' journalism and investigative funds

In an age of corporate media ownership, the Times remains locally owned and independent. This is our home, and we are determined to tell the story of Tampa Bay.

Your subscriptions, your contributions and words of encouragement have buoyed and inspired us throughout 2021. It means the world that our readers trust the Times.

You’ve been there for us. And it’s our honor to be here for you.

Mark Katches is the editor of the Tampa Bay Times. He can be reached at mkatches@tampabay.com. Follow on Twitter at @markkatches