Today we celebrate our eighth year in business. Happy birthday to us! And to you. The Texas Tribune has always been for you and about you: created with you and the likes of you in mind, operated for you and funded by you, as the very best public media orgs are. So we all have something to celebrate.

We’ve rarely been more in need of an excuse for celebration. These are complicated times full of difficult headlines to report and digest, and the industry we’re in is changing before our eyes, in Texas and elsewhere. Reliable, stable sources of news and information are more important than ever. During and after a natural disaster, at the height of a legislative session, when the Speaker of the House suddenly announces he won’t run for re-election, where are you going to turn for facts, analysis, insight and context? Who’s asking the hard questions before you can formulate them yourself? Who can you trust to have the public interest, and only that, in mind?

Of course, those are superlative cases; everyone springs into action when news breaks. Just as critical is the question of where to go when nothing much is happening, when the workaday business of politics and policy is plodding along. The trick to covering state government is keeping your eyes and ears and notebooks open in the negative spaces — where no one thinks they’re being watched and in places where reporters don’t fear to tread. The fact is, the Trib is 100 percent committed to this work and sustainable over the long haul, with the most statehouse reporters in the country and a singular focus on holding people in power and institutions accountable. Nothing will deter us, now or in the future. We are there for you and our neighbors when the action is hot and when it’s not.

We’re honored to have had the chance to be your go-to every day and every week since Nov. 3, 2009. We've accomplished so much. Defied expectations. Unlocked civic engagement. Changed the conversation. No surprise that we have big plans for the next eight years and beyond. More on that in the next few months. Until then, as always, thanks so much for helping us get here.

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