The Heron turns 2

by Ben OlivoJune 15, 2020
A heron taken on San Pedro Creek June 2020.

"Yeah, it's a hustle. The funny thing though is that it works out. You just have to hang in long enough and be scrappy enough and resourceful enough, and it starts to yield. And then you're addicted."

The great chef and author Gabrielle Hamilton said this about opening a restaurant, but I think it applies to starting any kind of business or organization. Indeed, running the San Antonio Heron the past two years has been more of a grind than anything else. We're still waiting for it to yield. You get times of jubilation, but the experience is much more akin to banging your head against a brick wall over and over and over while getting paid peanuts. (In 2019, I personally made $1,800 from the Heron. That's no typo.)

In every one of our stories, we strive to produce the most thorough reporting in San Antonio, what we call complete stories—meaning, leave no obvious question unaddressed or unanswered. In our writing, we strive for clarity above all else. We do this while trying our best to adhere to the highest ethical standards in journalism. If you read one of our stories and haven't a clue how the writer feels on the topic, then we've done our job. This is the stuff we obsess over.

That's our philosophy in a nutshell. Now a little bit about our future.

We have every intention of making it to three years. So far this year, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the Heron is showing signs of considerable growth.

We finally have a grant strategy, and we continue to actively apply for dollars from foundations in San Antonio and nationwide. We are confident we'll land our first significant grant this year.

We've also managed to form a strong partnership with the San Antonio Current, and a budding partnership with Texas Public Radio, where we can share each other's content, bringing additional reporting and perspectives into the Heron news feeds.

In terms of stories, we have a series of explanatory pieces mapped out, what I like to call the architecture of journalism, that are designed to make you better educated about how development works in our city. Once we start to launch this initiative, it will be a game changer. No media outlet in San Antonio is doing this work at this level of detail.

We are also anxious to get back to the streets, knocking on doors, attending community meetings, to learn more about how our inner city neighborhoods are changing. Obviously, this work must be placed on hold, because of the pandemic.

This is seriously difficult work, and we need your help. If you like the Heron and want to see more and better content, we're ready to deliver.

Will you consider making a donation by becoming a monthly donor or giving a one-time contribution, to help sustain our work?


We also accept checks:

San Antonio Heron
110 E. Houston St.
7th Floor
San Antonio, Texas 78205

Please remember, we are a 501(c)(3) organization and your contribution is tax deductible in accordance with federal law.

To all our supporters the past two years, THANK YOU. Please be safe, and remember to keep social distancing and wash your hands.

Heron Editor Ben Olivo can be reached at 210-421-3932 | | @rbolivo on Twitter

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