An introduction

Hello! My name is Sean Tubbs, and I’m a journalist who has recently returned to daily practice after a brief pause in a long career. This is the central website for the ways to help I am seeking to help the community understand itself better.  I’ve got over a quarter-century experience in research and writing about our section of Virginia, and I’m here to work for the community. Here’s a statement of purposes I wrote last June before I launched Charlottesville Community Engagement. 

Statement of purposes (in very draft form)

  • This effort to bolster community media seeks to fulfil the higher ideals embedded in our country’s founding documents. The men who wrote them were deeply flawed individuals, but the aspirational legacy of those words have resulted in a society where we each have the expectation of the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Even though this country continues to fail to meet those goals for many of its citizens. It is not self-evident that all of us are created equal, because many of us are treated very differently.
  • I am a first generation American who became a journalist to understand how things worked. I do not have a large family here, and I do not have a legacy that predates my birth. My parents were able to build a lot of wealth due to my father’s entrepreneurial skills. From an early age, I asked questions and learned to write in order to deliver the answers to the public. I have spent most of my career seeking to explain what I saw and heard in front of me.
  • IN May 2018, I temporarily left journalism to take an opportunity for a career change. In that time, I have learned that arguing in favor of positions is something that does not come naturally. As a journalist, I listened to what people said and wrote it down accordingly. For many years, I wrote stories that contributed to the public record.

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To do so, I have launched a new business called Town Crier Productions in order to make a living as I go about my work researching public policy in our community.  You can help me by making a contribution:

Local journalism across the country has fallen on hard times and there’s a lot of uncertainty. You may have seen headlines about reporters getting laid off. But democracy requires an informed public, and that’s where I come in for the area in and and around Charlottesville. 

My mission is to provide a constant flow of information about this area to provide context about decisions made by our elected and appointed officials.  Documenting what happens is important not only so that voters can make informed decisions, but also so that the future can look back upon what happened. 

Getting back to the work 

When the pandemic was declared, I felt a calling to help communicate to people about COVID-19 and the various changes underway. 

On March 15, I created a podcast called the Charlottesville Quarantine Report about what was going on with the disease. In the first month, I produced the show almost every day, and ended up transforming my bedroom into a recording studio and office space. My daily routine got back to that of a working journalist, seeking information from available resources. 

In mid-July, I launched a daily newscast and newsletter called Charlottesville Community Engagement. This program gives a very quick overview of what’s going on and what’s coming up.  I also write a newsletter called the Week Ahead which previews what is coming up in local government meetings.

This is all built on a dream I have had for many years, a dream that has been reality at several points in my career. I began as a professional in 1995 as a public radio intern, and I’ve had a good career. I am the founder of the Charlottesville Podcasting Network, a creator of cvillepedia, and I spent eleven years at Charlottesville Tomorrow covering local meetings.  Over the  years, I have a reputation for being truthful, accurate, and community-building in my work. 

Writing is how I explore the world and how I order my mind. In doing so, I’m hoping to help others understand the world of process. The world is increasingly a complex place, and I believe everybody needs a better understanding of how they can navigate the world.   

I am running run my life as a business, as most of my waking hours are spent pursuing this information. I record about two dozen events each week and distill what happened into information. I’m here to answer questions about how things work. 

I am back on a beat that I know very well and expanding my reach. I am excited to work alongside other dedicated journalists in this community as we all work to document Charlottesville’s in the third decade of the 21st century, a period of transition and healing.