Cityside, a new civic journalism platform, aims to help solve the crisis in local news

Cityside will be the parent nonprofit for Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside.

Lance Knobel, Tasneem Raja, Frances Dinkelspiel and Tracey Taylor.
The founders of Cityside. Left to right: Lance Knobel, Tasneem Raja, Frances Dinkelspiel and Tracey Taylor. Photo: Celeste Noche

At a time when local journalism is more under attack than ever, with tens of thousands of reporters losing their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team behind Berkeleyside and a new Oakland newsroom are proud to announce the launch of Cityside, its new nonprofit parent organization.

Cityside is also announcing its board of directors and is unveiling the name for its soon-to-launch Oakland news platform. It will be called The Oaklandside.

Cityside is founded by Berkeleyside’s three co-founders, Frances Dinkelspiel, Lance Knobel and Tracey Taylor, and Tasneem Raja, founder of The Tyler Loop, a community-led nonprofit journalism platform  in East Texas, and now editor-in-chief of The Oaklandside. Cityside’s leadership team also includes Client Partnerships Director Colleen Leary.

Cityside’s board is chaired by Berkeley-based technology entrepreneur Mike Olson. Olson was a co-founder and CEO of Cloudera, a Silicon Valley software company that provides a platform for big data analytics.

The other members of the Cityside board are: Joaquin Alvarado, co-founder of Oakland’s Studio To Be and former CEO, Center for Investigative Reporting; Candice Fortman, chief of innovation, MuckRock; Andy Fremder, director, Beneficial State Bank and UC Theatre, and co-founder, East Bay College Fund (now called Oakland Promise); Evelyn Nussenbaum, fundraiser and former journalist at CNN, The New York Times and New York Post; Emily Ramshaw, CEO and co-founder, The 19th, and former Editor-in-Chief, Texas Tribune; and Martin Reynolds, co-executive director, Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and former Editor-in-Chief, Oakland Tribune.

“We’ve been fortunate to convene a diverse board that brings a wealth of experience in startups, nonprofit management, journalism, finance and innovation,” said Knobel, Cityside’s CEO.

The Cityside team announced the creation of a new Oakland news site in December, part of its founding mission to launch nonprofit civic journalism platforms to help solve the crisis in local news. The Oaklandside will launch its own stand-alone website this month, but jumped into delivering news about Oakland through Berkeleyside after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The Oaklandside is committed to amplifying crucial voices and perspectives of community members to help build a healthier, more informed Oakland for all.