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History of The Independent


ince 1986, The Santa Barbara Independent has been required reading for the South Coast's active and sophisticated population. The Independent reaches more than 135,000 readers in Santa Barbara County each Thursday with in-depth news reporting, the most extensive calendar of local events, and the best arts and entertainment coverage in the region.

Although we have had a website since 1998, it wasn't until April, 2007 that we began our community news, arts, and entertainment portal, independent.com. Providing a thorough and up to date site for all things Santa Barbara, independent.com immediately became the area's most visited community website. Santa Barbara has a daily news site, and a place for the community to connect.

In 2008 we were recognized as the Best Weekly Newspaper website in the United States, in a national contest sponsored by Editor & Publisher magazine. In the meantime, our online audience has grown to be the largest in Santa Barbara county, twice as large as our nearest news competitor. But don't take our word for it -- here's a link to current online traffic rating services.

Our newspaper also was singled out in 2008 as one of "10 That Do It Right," of newspapers leading in innovation and adaptation, in another Editor & Publisher recognition.

The Independent was created from the merger of the Santa Barbara News & Review, a weekly paper consisting of politics and commentary founded in 1973, and The Weekly, an arts and entertainment publication with extensive listings. The merger created a unique voice for independent writers, critics, and involved citizens, and Santa Barbara go-to community resource for what-to-do.

he Santa Barbara Independent is a true community newspaper with a market penetration higher than almost every other "alternative" weekly in the country. Our audited circulation of 40,000 copies exceeds the daily paper and any other publication in Santa Barbara County. Copies are picked up at more than 600 locations stretching from surf points at Rincon to the flower fields of Lompoc.

We are very proud of our support of community events, nonprofit charities, and public service advertisers. The Santa Barbara Independent is a major sponsor of the largest community events, including the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Old Spanish Days, the Summer Solstice, and the Downtown Holiday Parade. Our underwriting covers the breath of Santa Barbara activity -- from support of the UCSB Economic Forecast Project to the Downtown Organization to outreach in the public school system. The paper is a major sponsor of UCSB intercollegiate sports, high school athletics and events, and the major theater companies in the region.

From its world-class art museum to its state-of-the-art zoological garden, Santa Barbara is a community committed to a rich and culturally diverse quality of life. Since its inception, The Santa Barbara Independent, has been here to celebrate and support that commitment.

Jagwar Ma

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