Berkeleyside readers support our work by becoming members

Those who care what happens in Berkeley are joining the Berkeleyside membership program in higher numbers to support local journalism in their community. Photo: Keoki Seu

Over 1,800 Berkeleyside readers are now members of the site, providing vital underwriting support for our mission of providing independent journalism in our city.

Berkeleyside’s total number of members increased by 343 through our year-end appeal for members.

A fundamental principle of Berkeleyside is that our reporting should be freely accessible to everyone in the community, irrespective of their income. We don’t make people pay for the news, but we allow people to pay for the news. Everyone who voluntarily contributes any amount to Berkeleyside becomes a member.

Our readers are central to everything Berkeleyside does — from providing tips on what is going on in their neighborhoods, schools or churches, to responding to our stories with useful insights in our comments section. We are mission driven and community supported, so, from the earliest days of Berkeleyside, encouraging our readers to also play a fundamental role in sustaining our work seemed a natural approach.

There are some concrete benefits to becoming a member. Berkeleyside members receive a monthly newsletter, gain access to a closed Berkeleyside Insider Facebook group, and receive invites to member-only events, among other things.

But when we ask readers why they decide to become members, the answer is invariably not about the perks. It’s about the knowledge they are supporting our journalism and helping us be sustainable in the long term — from the reporting we do from City Council and School Board meetings, through breaking crime and public safety articles, to our daily stories on East Bay restaurants, coffee shops and bars. Here’s just a selection of the feedback we’ve received recently from new members:

“You are my window to the community. I really appreciate the work you do.”

“You are awesome – so grateful for local coverage with such thoughtfulness and professionalism.”

“I enjoy your reporting and can’t find it elsewhere. It connects me to the community & informs me!”

“I like the fact it’s not owned by some big conglomerate, this is a community paper with a Capital C. Go Berkeleyside!”

“You have become a true part of the fabric of Berkeley and serve us all in so many ways.”

“I read you daily and am feeling guilty.”

So we welcome all our new members and thank all of you who have been members for a long time, sometimes for many years. We appreciate and depend on you to do our work.

Have any questions about Berkeleyside? Please get in touch.