Arizona Daily Star Opens New Downtown Office

August 4, 2016

by Kai Parmenter

The reporting team of This Is Tucson. Left to right: Andi Berlin, Alicia Vega, Irene McKisson, Angela Pittenger and Samantha Munsey.

The reporting team of This Is Tucson. Left to right: Andi Berlin, Alicia Vega, Irene McKisson, Angela Pittenger and Samantha Munsey.

The Arizona Daily Star has been one of Tucson’s preeminent sources for local news and culture for well over one hundred years. Founded in 1877 as The Daily Bulletin, the Daily Star has since become the state’s second-largest newspaper. As part of their ongoing mission to deliver engaging content on our ever-expanding city, the Daily Star has opened a new office in the heart of Tucson, at 1 East Broadway Boulevard.

Why open an office here in Downtown? It wouldn’t be their first. “We had a Daily Star office in La Placita,” notes Irene McKisson, who led the move to the new satellite office. In fact, the Daily Star held an office there for roughly 30 years. Back in April all tenants of La Placita Village received notice that they must move out by the end of July, as per owner HSL Properties’ plan to demolish and renovate the space. According to McKisson, most employees from the La Placita office were government reporters, and therefore require a close proximity to Tucson’s center of administration.

“We started looking for space for them,” says McKisson. “and while we were doing that, we launched a new project.” This new venture, called This Is Tucson, highlights lifestyle and recreational activities around town, and is geared towards the city’s younger population.“It’s for young families,” says McKisson, noting the team did substantial research on how best to engage this specific group. “We’re covering schools, things to do, food… we have a catchall Tucson life, you know, that stuff people who grew up here know, but somebody who didn’t might not know.”

This Is Tucson covers activities for the entire city, though the project places some emphasis on the heart of the Old Pueblo. “We’re writing a lot about Downtown,” notes McKisson. “We know the audience we’re trying to reach loves this place, so that’s kind of part of our end goal, which is a little different than the newspaper…this project is more showing people what there is to love about this place.” The new office houses the six Daily Star reporters of This Is Tucson, in addition to the government reporters formerly of the La Placita unit.

The new Daily Star office houses the reporters of This Is Tucson, and several government reporters formerly of the La Placita unit.

The new Daily Star office houses the reporters of This Is Tucson, and several government reporters formerly of the La Placita unit.

This is Tucson is up and running, but there are more ambitious plans for it in the near future. “We’ve started already,” says McKisson. “We already have a Facebook page and are creating content.” An app for iPhone and Android is also in the works, to be released soon. “We’ve been developing this project for awhile,” says McKisson. “We’re strategizing and trying to figure out how it’s all going to work, and what a digital-only project of the Arizona Daily Star actually looks like.” The emphasis on digital-only reporting marks a first for the Daily Star, however McKisson hopes to expand the scale of the project over time. “Eventually we aim to do some events. We would like to be engaging [the community] in person as well as online.”

To learn more about the Arizona Daily Star’s This Is Tucson project, visit their website here.

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