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It’s Our Fifth Anniversary! photo by Ruth Black.

With awe and gratitude, we are here to report that Tuesday, March 1, is Maryland Matters’ fifth anniversary.

Maryland Matters began as an occasional blog — a no-frills operation powered by volunteers. If you’re feeling nostalgic, take a look at our very first dispatch by clicking here. It’s a reminder of how consequential the past five years have been, and how we’ve been here to chronicle it all for you.

We now have the largest full-time staff dedicated to covering the State House and state politics.

We’re still a no-frills operation. And there are times when I can’t believe we’re here at all. Our success was not guaranteed and our margins remain very thin.

Yes, I had big plans for Maryland Matters.

Very big plans.

I had dreamt of creating a nonprofit news site focused on Maryland politics and policy — news that is too often  overlooked in today’s media landscape.

But would it work?

Would a website that is packed with news — not ads — be financially sustainable?

Could our site be available to as many people as possible — not stuck behind a paywall?

To tell you the truth, I really did not know.

But look at where we are today.

All I can say is thank you.

Thank you to my marvelous and infinitely patient colleagues. And most of all, thank you to our readers and supporters.

Without you, there would be no Maryland Matters.

Your support and encouragement over the years have meant the world to my colleagues and me.

You made it possible for the team at Maryland Matters to publish original news and commentary on Maryland’s most important issues.

And please note: It was always a team effort. From our earliest days — when my co-founders, Lou Peck and Keith Haller, and I scouted for readers and seed money — and today, as Editor Danielle Gaines leads an editorial team of six.

Against all odds, Maryland Matters is going strong.

Will you join me celebrating five years of Maryland Matters — and many more to come?

If you would, please consider a tax-deductible contribution to Maryland Matters. Your support has gotten us this far — and I’ll repeat what I said back on March 1, 2017: We’ve only just begun!

We hope to hold an in-person celebration in late spring. After all this time in the pandemic, we’re eager to be together — but still cautious. Stay tuned on this.

And if you’re in Annapolis Tuesday morning, stop by Lawyers Mall for cookies and a chat with Maryland Matters staffers. We’ll be there from 9:30 to 11.

We put our energy into reporting news out of Annapolis and communities across the state. We focus on keeping those in power accountable.

I am so proud of the depth and breadth of our news coverage.

News on criminal justice and education and transportation and health care. News of the pandemic and how it has exacerbated inequities in our state.

We also bring you the most comprehensive coverage of elections and the changing of the guard in Annapolis. And in the past year we launched Climate Calling, our series on Maryland’s response to the climate crisis.

It’s so gratifying to me personally. More importantly, it’s reflection of a hard-working staff and you — our loyal readers.

If you haven’t had a chance to contribute to our nonprofit news site, this is a great time to do so! We rely on the generosity of readers and charitable foundations. It’s as simple as that.

I hope you’ll choose to support Maryland Matters today.

Let the anniversary celebration begin!

With gratitude,

Josh Kurtz/Founding Editor