To those of us who live here, Harrisonburg is a lot of things – growing, increasingly diverse, quirky. But above all, it’s home.
Earlier this year, several of us who have an interest in news and have chosen to live in Harrisonburg – or to return here – began discussing ways we could help our community.
What emerged was the foundation for The Citizen: an online news organization that will provide, without a paywall, in-depth coverage of community issues and information we need to know to be active and informed participants in this democracy. We are driven by curiosity, not any political philosophy. And our goal is to not just explain what happened, but to provide a clearer picture of why and how using any and all tools available to us.
Those of us who are launching this site have spent all or most of our professional careers digging for stories, chasing down sources and confirming information. That same degree of diligence and commitment to accuracy will go into every article published on The Citizen.
And while The Citizen won’t publish its own editorials or opinion pieces written by staff members or contributors, we believe Harrisonburg could benefit from seeing and hearing from additional voices – from our neighbors, new and old, and from those who have different views from each other. So we have a place on this site for perspectives submitted by community members. You can email perspective pieces of no longer than 700 words to firstname.lastname@example.org using the heading “PERSPECTIVE PIECE SUBMISSION.”
Finally, we have created The Citizen as a labor of love for quality journalism and for the community we wish to serve. But sustaining this level of coverage by committed journalists will require your help. As you come to rely on The Citizen’s approach to covering Harrisonburg fairly, fully and assertively, we hope you will join and support us in providing the type of journalism Harrisonburg needs by donating.
Thanks for reading and thanks for being informed.
– Ryan Alessi and Andrew Jenner, co-founders