The Texas Tribune is the only member-supported, digital-first, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
The Tribune was founded in 2009 by John Thornton (a venture capitalist in Austin for nearly 20 years and passionate believer in public media), Evan Smith (the veteran editor-in-chief of Texas Monthly and host of a weekly interview program on PBS stations), and Ross Ramsey (former owner and editor of Texas Weekly, the state’s premier newsletter on politics and government, now rebranded as The Blast).
The Texas Tribune and its destination website were launched in November 2009, thanks to $4 million in private contributions as seed funding, a small band of talented computer programmers and some of the most accomplished journalists in the state.
The Tribune, which has the largest statehouse news bureau in the United States, covers a full range of topics including public and higher education, health care, immigration, criminal justice, energy, poverty, the environment, water, transportation — pretty much every line in the state budget. We also cover the major candidates and campaigns for office, though we train our sights less on the candidates than the issues. And we facilitate a statewide conversation about these topics on our op-ed site, TribTalk. To further our pursuit of statewide engagement, we provide all of our content, for free, to print, radio and television news organizations throughout the state, and nationally in partnership with The Washington Post.
Each year we host 50-plus on-the-record, open-to-the-public live events — on college campuses, in community centers and everywhere in between — at which public officials, policy wonks and newsmakers answer for the work they’re doing and how they’re spending your tax dollars. Events are often available via livestream video, for those who can’t attend in person, and following the conversation we publish and archive video online. Our signature annual event, The Texas Tribune Festival, attracts thousands of attendees to downtown Austin to learn about Texas’ biggest challenges and to engage in thoughtful discussion about their respective solutions. Decision-makers, industry leaders and community activists from near and far come to take part in this three-day event.