Berkeleyside launched a Direct Public Offering — the first news organization in the country to do so – with the goal of raising $800,000 from our community of readers. The funds are directly invested in Berkeleyside, so we can continue to provide you with 24/7, award-winning news for the long term.
We’re thrilled to report that more than 240 local residents have become investors in Berkeleyside — some at the minimum $1,000, others investing $5,000, $10,000, $50,000 or even more. A 3% dividend and other perks are some of the benefits. Already, that capital has enabled us to design a mobile-friendly site, hire an additional reporter, enhance our food, education and real estate coverage and put more resources into our highly regarded annual festival, Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas.
However, we haven’t quite reached our goal, and have just a few weeks to get there. There is still time for a few more investors to come on board so that we can close the DPO. (Another way to support Berkeleyside is to become a member.)
Below, meet a handful of people who invested in Berkeleyside. They all share a commitment to supporting independent, award-winning local journalism.
Sarah and Mike Ranney
Occupation: I’m a director of account management at a data company
What you like about Berkeleyside: Any community works better with a local press. In my mind, a city like Berkeley absolutely NEEDS it. By keeping us informed with reporting and perspectives on what happens in our city, Berkeleyside strengthens our civic fabric and provides a place where residents can exchange ideas and information. Berkeleyside is the first place I turn to find out what’s happening this weekend, what that smoke or siren in the distance means, and what drama unfolded at the latest City Council meeting. I’ve especially appreciated how Berkeleyside has followed events like this year’s rallies for free speech; providing the facts as well as a forum for residents to express different viewpoints. The stamina and range of the small Berkeleyside reporting staff astound me.
Why you invested in Berkeleyside: Starting about a year ago, my husband and I realized we wanted to be more deliberate in how we support the institutions we care about. The Berkeleyside DPO gave us a way to divert money that may have gone into something more conventional and put it towards an entity we engage with every day. Our investment was modest, but it’s yielded a lot of satisfaction to know that it’s being put to such good use on behalf of our community.
Jessica Broitman and Gibor Basri
Occupations: Psychoanalyst / Astrophysicist
Why you invested in Berkeleyside: It’s a high-quality local effort that does a good job of well-written, professional reporting of items of immediate local interest and importance, with in-depth background research and excellent, neutral reporting. We are always interested in what they choose to print.
Why you invested in Berkeleyside: There is an urgent need for information to be transmitted accurately, honestly and quickly to our community. There is no other vehicle for a trustworthy source of local information to be shared. It’s especially important in today’s world of fake news to have stories told by people with integrity who we can trust. It’s a case of putting out money where our mouths are.
Occupation: I’m a managing director of philanthropy at a local Jewish community foundation.
What you like about Berkeleyside: Any community needs a strong and independent and opinionated local press, and I think Berkeley needs this more so than most. It’s a particular culture influenced by some of the biggest global and national issues (those Nazis didn’t pick Berkeley by accident), and yet Berkeley is also charmingly parochial in ways that all communities are, too, and that deserves celebrating and recognizing. Berkeleyside gets this mix just right. In particular, I’ve been impressed as a Berkeley High parent at how well Berkeleyside covers local educational issues — and they are many and complex. And I’m proud that my town, through Berkeleyside, has a vibrant and growing annual ideas festival, Uncharted, that is the kind of event that beautifully plays to Berkeley’s strengths as a community.
Why you invested in Berkeleyside: In news, trust is very important: I trust and appreciate Berkeleyside’s founders, who along with being excellent writers and journalists, are active community-builders and community participants and leaders. And no one needs to study business very hard to know that the business model for journalism has shifted forever. While I appreciate my paid monthly subscriptions to some of the obvious national and international journals of record, I also recognize that in the 21st century, news wants to be “free.” To this point, local news coverage mostly won’t be able to create the kind of center of gravity needed to successfully charge for subscriptions. Investing in Berkeleyside is like a front-loaded “many years’ paid” subscription that allows me, and everyone else, to access high-quality local news.
This is not an offer to sell any securities. Offers to sell are made only pursuant to authorized offering materials. The offering is limited to California residents that meet certain suitability requirements. You must verify that you are a California resident in order to receive the authorized offering materials, and you must verify that you meet the suitability requirements in order to subscribe for the securities.