April 2018: First in the nation: Berkeleyside raises $1M from readers in direct public offering
Berkeleyside raised $1 million in capital from 355 of its readers, making it the first news site in the country to do a Direct Public Offering. The success of the DPO testified to Berkeleyside readers’ belief in the need for high-quality independent local journalism in their community. The funds enabled Berkeleyside, founded in 2009 by three veteran journalists, to make the site mobile friendly, hire an additional reporter, and augment its events and membership programs.“While Berkeleyside could have chased investment from more traditional financiers, there was something symbolically compelling about giving readers the opportunity to have a direct role in the site’s future,” Nieman Lab reported in October 2016, when Berkeleyside launched its DPO. Read more about Berkeleyside’s DPO.
November 2017: Berkeleyside wins Excellence, other SF Press Club awards
Berkeleyside was honored for overall excellence by the San Francisco Press Club. The Berkeleyside team won first-place awards in the digital media division for overall excellence, for breaking news, for coverage of the November 2016 election, for Frances Dinkelspiel’s series on the Premier Cru scandal, for Emilie Raguso’s feature on an injured bicycle rider, and Alix Wall’s story on Rubicon Bakery, among other awards. Read more about the awards.
November 2017: Emilie Raguso named Journalist of the Year
Berkeleyside Senior Reporter Emilie Raguso was named Journalist of the Year by the NorCal chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. “A reporter with deep knowledge of the community, Raguso is dedicated to exploring the longterm implications of local events,”SPJ NorCal wrote in its release about the award. “Her work also explores the local impact of state and national level decisions. As a senior reporter, she covers several beats including crime, land use and local government, and doggedly tracks down the information her readers need. Raguso is there for the breaking news and for the follow up stories. The board commends Raguso, whose work provides the kind of nuance, context and depth that are increasingly rare in community journalism.” Read more about the honor, and watch Raguso receiving the award.
October 2017: Berkeleyside’s fifth Uncharted Berkeley Ideas Festival
Berkeleyside’s held its fifth annual two-day ideas festival, Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas, on Oct. 27-28 at the Peet’s Theater at Berkeley Rep and the Freight & Salvage in downtown Berkeley. This year, Helena Brantley joined Lance Knobel at the helm as co-curator. Highlights included Joan Williams on class cluelessness, Ronald Rael on the architecture of border walls, and Rick Wilson on why “everything Trump touches dies.” The festival was attended by more than 400 people, many of whom came to its opening-night party at the Brower Center, participated in the new Living Room Conversations workshops hosted by JCC East Bay, and patronized the festival’s popup book store managed by Books Inc. In a feedback survey, 57% of festival-goers said the event was “Excellent” and 29% said it was “Very Good. ” Over 70% said they’d be very likely to recommend the festival to their friends. Read a recap and browse the photo galleries. Want to know more? Email Lance Knobel at firstname.lastname@example.org
September 2017: Lenfest Institute awards Berkeleyside grant
The Lenfest Institute for Journalism — a newly formed nonprofit whose mission is “to develop and support sustainable business models for great local journalism” — awarded Berkeleyside a $60,000 grant to create an open-source “Reader Revenue” tool-kit to help other local newsrooms around the country explore raising capital through a DPO. Berkeleyside Co-Founder and Managing Editor Tracey Taylor is driving the project and went to Philadelphia in October to meet with Lenfest and its other grant winners. Taylor was also invited to speak about Berkeleyside’s pioneering direct public offering at the 2017 Online News Association’s annual conference in D.C. Want to know more? Email Tracey Taylor at email@example.com
July 2017: Berkeleyside joins Facebook Journalism Project
Berkeleyside was invited to become a member of the Facebook Journalism Project whose goal is to establish stronger ties between Facebook and the news industry. Facebook says it is collaborating with news organizations to develop products, learn from journalists about ways it can be a better partner, and work with publishers and educators on how it can equip people with the knowledge they need to be informed readers in the digital age. Want to know more? Email Lance Knobel at firstname.lastname@example.org
June 2017: Berkeleyside joins Membership Puzzle Project
Berkeleyside was invited to become part of the Membership Puzzle Project — founded by New York University Professor of Journalism Jay Rosen and pioneering Dutch news nonprofit De Correspondent — which is exploring the whys and ways of having readers become members. Want to know more? Email Tracey Taylor at email@example.com
November 2016: Berkeleyside launched Direct Public Offering
Seven years after three veteran journalists launched Berkeleyside, the independent news startup invited its readers to become shareholders through a Direct Public Offering (DPO). Berkeleyside is the first news organization in the country to do a DPO. Its goal is to raise $800,000 to invest in the business so it can build on, and improve how it serves Berkeley and the East Bay. The funds enable Berkeleyside to hire a second full-time reporter, invest in more in-depth journalism, redesign the site to be more responsive and mobile-friendly, and expand its sales and marketing efforts. The DPO had raised $600,000 from 233 investors by Nov. 2017 and aims to close by March 2018. Visit Invest.Berkeleyside.com for details. Want to know more? Email Lance Knobel at firstname.lastname@example.org