Berkeleyside is a pioneering independent digital news platform in Berkeley, California, reporting on Berkeley and the East Bay. It was founded in October 2009 by journalists Frances Dinkelspiel, Tracey Taylor and Lance Knobel. In 2020, the Berkeleyside founders, together with Tasneem Raja, created Cityside, a nonprofit, civic journalism organization that publishes both Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside.
Berkeleyside has a loyal and engaged community of readers who visit our site, read our newsletters and follow us on social media. They contribute in myriad ways to help us deliver on our mission of “breaking news and building community.” In 2019, Berkeleyside.com averaged more than 1 million page views and 360,000 unique visitors monthly. Our core audience is people who live or work in Berkeley, but it also extends into neighboring cities, in particular for our popular East Bay-wide food coverage. As well as being our ears and eyes on the street, and engaging with us on the issues that matter to them in the community, our readers help fund our work: in June 2020, nearly 4,000 Berkeleyside readers were Berkeleyside members, making regular donations to support our journalism.
As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, donations to Berkeleyside through Cityside are tax deductible.
In 2019, Berkeleyside founders Frances Dinkelspiel, Lance Knobel and Tracey Taylor were selected to receive the Benjamin Ide Wheeler Medal honoring members of the community in any field whose work has benefited the people of Berkeley. Also in 2019, reporter Natalie Orenstein was named a finalist in the Education Writers Association’s National Awards for Education Reporting.
In 2018, the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists honored Berkeleyside’s executive editor Frances Dinkelspiel with the 2018 Longform Storytelling award (in the print/online small division) for her article, One day, one night: The fuse that lit the Battles of Berkeley. Also in 2018, Berkeleyside was named Best Local Twitter Account in the East Bay Express Best of the East Bay 2018 awards.
In 2017, Berkeleyside was honored by the San Francisco Press Club, winning first-place awards in the digital media division for overall excellence, for breaking news, and for coverage of the November 2016 election, among other awards. Also in 2017, Berkeleyside Senior Reporter Emilie Raguso was named Journalist of the Year by the NorCal chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
In 2016, Berkeleyside won an Excellence in Journalism Award from SPJ NorCal for its comprehensive coverage of homelessness in Berkeley.
In 2015 Berkeleyside won Best Local Twitter Account in the East Bay from the East Bay Express.
In 2013, 2014 and 2019, Berkeleyside was the winner of the SPJ NorCal Excellence in Journalism Award for Community Journalism.
Berkeleyside retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of contributors or their products, services or opinions.
We accept contributions, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of that support.
Our organization may consider contributions to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.
Our organization will make public all donors who give a total of $5,000 or more per year. We will accept anonymous contributions for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization.
Read more about our policies at Cityside.
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Our ideas festival
From 2013 to 2018, Berkeleyside produced the annual Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas, the Bay Area’s first ideas festival. It brought together some of the world’s great thinkers for two thrilling days of discussion, debate and workshops designed to engage and inspire. Questions about the festival? Please email Uncharted founder and co-curator Lance Knobel at firstname.lastname@example.org.