The Rivard Report
110 E. Houston St. #207
San Antonio, Texas 78205 [Map]
The Rivard Report is San Antonio’s leading local online news source. We are nonprofit and nonpartisan and we do not have a paywall. Our content is available at no cost to everyone in the city and beyond. We publish without fear or favor, or any obligation to outside owners or interests. We cover all that is best about San Antonio: its personalities, neighborhoods, businesses, culture, cuisine, arts and entertainment. We tackle the city’s problems and challenges, too, and spotlight innovative solutions, many to be found in other cities competing for the next generation of talented workers and their families.
We feature the work of a team of curious, energetic staff journalists and publish contributions from respected freelance journalists. We encourage lively, civil debate in the comments section that accompanies each of our stories. We regularly publish articles and commentaries from elected officials, civic and community leaders, entrepreneurs and other business leaders, educators and artists — San Antonians from all walks of life.
The Rivard Report, which celebrated six years of publication on Feb. 13, 2018, reorganized as a 501(C)3 nonprofit enterprise in 2015 and is supported and led by a diverse and accomplished Board of Directors, all of whom financially support the enterprise. Longtime journalist Robert Rivard and his wife, Monika Maeckle, a publishing executive, founded the Rivard Report as a community blog in February 2012. It now features a staff of 16 fulltime journalists and business team members, and publishes a number of freelance contributors.
The Rivard Report also serves as a community platform. We have published more than 1,000 commentaries and stories submitted by readers from all walks of life in San Antonio, from mayors to ministers, teachers to tech entrepreneurs, artists to architects.
The Rivard Report is member-supported. We do not receive government funding or subsidies. We do receive philanthropic and foundation funding, and we benefit from carefully curated advertising and sponsored posts. Our well-attended public policy forums and monthly member gatherings also help support credible, community journalism. The engagement of readers, commenters, article contributors, and financial supporters is vital to our growth, sustainability, and public service. We offer a variety of membership levels for individuals and businesses, and hope you and your employer will join today.
Join the thousands of readers who start their morning with the Rivard Report waiting in their in-box. Sign up for our free daily and weekly newsletters. We attract more than 200,000 unique visitors to our website each month.
We believe a well informed and connected community is essential to making San Antonio a better place to live, work and play.
To become San Antonio’s most trusted and lively source of news and commentary.
We publish a wide range of voices and opinions.
We embrace San Antonio’s unique history and culture and its diverse communities.
We strive to achieve the highest levels of accuracy, fairness, and openness.
Whenever we learn that we’ve made an error of fact or context, we publish a correction or amplification within the story where the error appeared. We promptly correct and acknowledge all errors identified by readers, individuals we have reported on or interviewed, or mistakes identified by members of our staff. Errors or requests for clarification can be submitted to email@example.com.
We publicly disclose all sources of funding for the Rivard Report.
Each of our Board members and employees adheres to our Conflict of Interest Policy and the Code of Ethics published by the Society of Professional Journalists.
The Rivard Report is a nonprofit corporation and is exempt from taxes under Section 501(c)(3). It has its own governing board: Richard “Dick” Schlosberg III is the founding chairman; John “Chico” Newman is the founding vice-chairman; and Lew Moorman is the founding Treasurer. Editor & Director Robert Rivard serves as the Board Secretary. Founding Directors include Katy Flato, and Laura Saldivar Luna.
The Rivard Report Staff:
Managing Editor Graham Watson-Ringo moved to San Antonio from Denver, but originally hails from Redlands, Calif., and is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, She’s a big sports fan, but holds a special place In her heart for college football and Premier League soccer. Her husband, Kyle, is a freelance journalist, and they have three children.
Wendy Lane Cook spent more than a decade at the Associated Press with bureaus in Texas and California, covering everything from state elections to natural disasters to the Olympic Games. From there she moved to The Washington Post. After stepping away from full-time journalism for some time, she became editor and writing coach at the Rivard Report in January 2017 and deputy managing editor in June 2018.
Iris Dimmick moved to San Antonio in February 2012. Iris was born and raised in Grand Junction, Colo. and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Central Washington University. She served as the Rivard Report’s first managing editor for more than six years and is now happily focused on covering City Hall and other topics as senior reporter.
Jenna Price Mallette is the COO for the Rivard Report. Before joining the team, Jenna worked with the Trinity University College Advising Corps and Robot Creative. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Psychology from Trinity University.
Katy Silva is the advertising and marketing director for the Rivard Report. She previously served as the director of marketing and communications at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, as well as the marketing coordinator at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.
Scott Ball is the Rivard Report’s photo editor. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His photography can be found in almost every story published on the Rivard Report these days and more can be found at www.scottstephenball.com
Bonnie Arbittier joined our team in February 2017 after moving to Texas to intern at the Victoria Advocate. Following an internship with Annie Leibovitz, she completed a Fine Arts degree at the University of Pennsylvania. You can see her portfolio at www.bonniearbittier.com and her musings on her Instagram @bonniearbittier.
Before moving to San Antonio in 2004, Hanna Oberhofer was a competitive rhythmic gymnast in her native Austria. She earned degrees from St. Mary’s University and the Texas State Graduate College before joining the Rivard Report as community and production editor in June 2016. Follow her on Instagram at @hanna_inn_sa
Longtime area newsman and columnist Rick Casey hosts our weekly podcast Just This with Rick Casey to talk about San Antonio civic affairs, politics, and history through the lens of the week’s most pressing stories. Casey signed off as host of This Week at KLRN-TV in 2017, before that he worked as a metro columnist for the former San Antonio Light and, later, the San Antonio Express-News.
Brendan Gibbons, a prize-winning environmental reporter, joined the Rivard Report in January 2018. He covers the environment, energy, and water issues. Previously, he worked for the San Antonio Express News and The Scranton Times-Tribune in Pennsylvania. In 2013, he graduated from the University of Missouri with degrees in science and agricultural journalism.
Emily Donaldson, a former Community Impact correspondent in Houston and Austin, is the Rivard Report‘s education reporter. Donaldson is a Houston native and a 2015 graduate of the University of Missouri with bachelor degrees in political science and in journalism.
Data Director Emily Royall is a technologist and urban planner focusing on integrating technology and urban development in meaningful, ethical, and sustainable ways. Emily holds a BS in Neuroscience from UT Austin and an MA in Urban Planning from MIT.
JJ Velasquez is the Rivard Report’s technology and cybersecurity reporter. Prior to his arrival to San Antonio, Velasquez spent eight years working for newspapers covering everything from school boards to drug violence. In his most recent stint as as an editor at a community newspaper he wrote extensively about Austin’s tech ecosystem. The 2009 UT Journalism School grad is a proud native of South Texas and the borderlands having grown up in Laredo.
Nicholas Frank, a former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel arts writer, is both arts journalist and practicing artist as well as curator, exhibition organizer, and author of his whimsical arts blog, Nicholas Frank Public Library.
Health Reporter Roseanna Garza has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and composition and a minor in sociology from St. Mary’s University and a master’s in clinical mental health counseling from the UTSA, where she went on to pursue clinical licensure as a licensed professional counselor.
Shari Biediger, our business reporter, has earned recognition for her writing from the International Association of Business Communicators, the Educational Press Association, Public Relations Society of America, and AdFed. She has worked for the Recorder-Times, San Antonio Bar Association, and USAA.
Nancy Cook-Monroe is a local freelance writer and Realtor. She has written about San Antonio arts and civic scenes since she could hold a pencil.
Cherise Rohr-Allegrini, PhD, MPH, is the San Antonio Program Director for The Immunization Partnership. Following years of tropical disease research on vector-borne diseases, she was the epidemiologist for the San Antonio Metro Health Department, Public Health Preparedness and later the Communicable Disease Program Manager with the Department of State Health Services, Region 8.
Mitch Hagney is a writer and hydroponic farmer in downtown San Antonio. Hagney is CEO of LocalSprout.
*This is not a complete list of our more than 200 contributors, but we’ll be sure to add more faces to this page in the future as we grow.
Seek Truth and Report It
The Rivard Report and its staff adheres to the Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics:
Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
– Take responsibility for the accuracy of their work. Verify information before releasing it. Use original sources whenever possible.
– Remember that neither speed nor format excuses inaccuracy.
– Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story.
– Gather, update and correct information throughout the life of a news story.
– Be cautious when making promises, but keep the promises they make.
– Identify sources clearly. The public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources.
– Consider sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Reserve anonymity for sources who may face danger, retribution or other harm, and have information that cannot be obtained elsewhere. Explain why anonymity was granted.
– Diligently seek subjects of news coverage to allow them to respond to criticism or allegations of wrongdoing.
– Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information unless traditional, open methods will not yield information vital to the public.
– Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable. Give voice to the voiceless.
– Support the open and civil exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
– Recognize a special obligation to serve as watchdogs over public affairs and government. Seek to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open, and that public records are open to all.
– Provide access to source material when it is relevant and appropriate.
– Boldly tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience. Seek sources whose voices we seldom hear.
– Avoid stereotyping. Journalists should examine the ways their values and experiences may shape their reporting.
– Label advocacy and commentary.
– Never deliberately distort facts or context, including visual information. Clearly label illustrations and re-enactments.
– Never plagiarize. Always attribute.
Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.
– Balance the public’s need for information against potential harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance or undue intrusiveness.
– Show compassion for those who may be affected by news coverage. Use heightened sensitivity when dealing with juveniles, victims of sex crimes, and sources or subjects who are inexperienced or unable to give consent. Consider cultural differences in approach and treatment.
– Recognize that legal access to information differs from an ethical justification to publish or broadcast.
– Realize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than public figures and others who seek power, influence or attention. Weigh the consequences of publishing or broadcasting personal information.
– Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity, even if others do.
– Balance a suspect’s right to a fair trial with the public’s right to know. Consider the implications of identifying criminal suspects before they face legal charges.
– Consider the long-term implications of the extended reach and permanence of publication. Provide updated and more complete information as appropriate.
The highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the public.
– Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
– Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and avoid political and other outside activities that may compromise integrity or impartiality, or may damage credibility.
– Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; do not pay for access to news. Identify content provided by outside sources, whether paid or not.
– Deny favored treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests, and resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage.
– Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two. Prominently label sponsored content.
Be Accountable and Transparent
Ethical journalism means taking responsibility for one’s work and explaining one’s decisions to the public.
– Explain ethical choices and processes to audiences. Encourage a civil dialogue with the public about journalistic practices, coverage and news content.
– Respond quickly to questions about accuracy, clarity and fairness.
– Acknowledge mistakes and correct them promptly and prominently. Explain corrections and clarifications carefully and clearly.
– Expose unethical conduct in journalism, including within their organizations.
– Abide by the same high standards they expect of others.
The SPJ Code of Ethics is a statement of abiding principles supported by additional explanations and position papers that address changing journalistic practices. It is not a set of rules, rather a guide that encourages all who engage in journalism to take responsibility for the information they provide, regardless of medium. The code should be read as a whole; individual principles should not be taken out of context. It is not, nor can it be under the First Amendment, legally enforceable.
Sigma Delta Chi’s first Code of Ethics was borrowed from the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1926. In 1973, Sigma Delta Chi wrote its own code, which was revised in 1984, 1987, 1996 and 2014.