One year ago today, Maryland Matters published its first story. This is my anniversary card to you, our dedicated readers.
First and foremost, thank you for reading.
Thank you for being a key part of our grand experiment of news – and democracy — in the digital age.
In the last decade, traditional media reassigned dwindling resources – with thousands of reporters in Washington, D.C., but fewer and fewer in Annapolis and in our local communities.
Maryland Matters has strived to fill this gap in coverage about Maryland politics and government with original reporting and commentary. And for me, it’s been a labor of love: a more-than-full-time unpaid job on top of my regular paying job.
I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished.
For most of this year, we’ve been an all-volunteer team, providing comprehensive coverage and breaking news on candidates running for governor, political maneuvering in every corner of the state, policy battles in the State House and elsewhere, and courthouse developments in political corruption cases.
We were the first news outlet to report the governor’s quiet sale of his Edgewater home. The first to write about how a legal battle and state oversight of a nursing home chain became part of the debate over a key gubernatorial appointee. We revealed one politician’s dramatic personal story of opioid addiction.
I relish being an independent, non-partisan and non-profit news site for Maryland.
And I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to expand coverage just as the General Assembly session – and the election year – got underway in January, hiring three veteran journalists.
We were able to bring on top-flight staff for one reason: money.
I am touched and inspired by the unfailingly generous contributions to Maryland Matters from individuals and foundations. And I’m happy to report that we made good on two challenge grants from the last quarter – tripling individual contributions of $28,000. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We could not have done this without you.
These contributions made it possible for us to grow in other ways.
In the weeks ahead, be on the lookout for a new and dynamic design for our website.
All the better to showcase our expanded coverage in this pivotal election year.
Plus, when the legislature comes to a close next month, we will once again have our Sine Die Winners and Losers column – a sure hit.
We’ll ramp up our coverage of state and local elections.
And we’ll continue to explore compelling issues – from housing and social policy to health care and the environment.
As a free press comes under fire from so many quarters, I want you to know how much I appreciate your support – your belief in what Maryland Matters does.
So I ask you today, as we begin our second year: Have we met your expectations? What do you like most? What don’t you like? What else could we do to continue to improve?
The year ahead is exciting!
At times, the year ahead is daunting, too. Maryland Matters will need an influx of funds this spring just to maintain our current coverage.
But the support we’ve gotten over the past year is heartening.
And I’m left with a deep and abiding gratitude for your readership and support.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you, and welcome to the second year of Maryland Matters.
As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Editor and co-founder
P.S. Without independent news sites like Maryland Matters – without you — a lot of stories would never be told. Thank you.
P.P.S. A special thank you to my wife, Caryl, for her love and support this year. Happy Anniversary to us all!