We’ve had one hell of a year, and we could not have done it without all of you.
Below are just some of the stories you cared most about:
- Our exclusive on the Philadelphia Police Department’s harassment of a non-violent University of Pennsylvania student organizer;
- We exposed how the Drug Enforcement Administration, in partnership with the White House, is using a highly-sensitive, Constitutionally-questionable telephone record collection program named Hemisphere in our region;
- PA State Police’s purchase of controversial StingRay cell surveillance gear, a story later highlighted by the American Civil Liberties Union;
- A private interest group’s effort to “astroturf” a pro-teacher demonstration with the help of a New York City marketing firm;
- Delaware County’s effort to prohibit your right to know how taxpayer money is being spent on a SWAT-style police vehicle by suing staff writer Austin Nolen.
- We’re also thrilled to announce the launch of an internship program with University of Penn’s Annenberg School of Communication.
And let’s not forget Joshua Albert’s breathtaking protest photojournalism in which he documents our city’s vibrant displays of First Amendment expression!
With over 180,000 visitors to The Declaration since we launched in late 2012 – and over 140,000 alone in 2014 – next year promises to be an even better one.
We’ve grown the number of contributors who bring fresh perspectives and great writing to the site, including Sarah McLaughlin’s story on Drexel University’s cyber-militarization efforts, and Brianna Dinan’s passion for environmental sustainability.
So a huge, heartfelt thank you to all of our readers for your support, and for allowing us the opportunity to do what we love. We will continue to fill gaps in local news with original reporting and curating stories you need, not just stories you want. We also intend to continue growing the number of staff while exploring ways to innovate the way we deliver news to you.
If you’re a local journalist, or know of someone who blogs locally, and would like us to showcase writing, let us know.
From all of us to all of you, have a very happy New Year.