Building Community Through Local Journalism

Civic-minded local journalism

Trusted, independent local journalism has never been more important, yet the resources for strong civic reporting are in ever-shorter supply. Cityside is determined to change that dynamic.

In 2009, Cityside co-founders Frances Dinkelspiel, Lance Knobel and Tracey Taylor launched Berkeleyside, an independent news site in Berkeley, California, that is now regarded as a model for the provision of local news. In 2017, Cityside co-founder Tasneem Raja launched The Tyler Loop, a community-led nonprofit journalism platform for in-depth, inclusive reporting and storytelling in East Texas.

Together, in June 2020, we launched The Oaklandside to serve the city of Oakland. In time, Cityside will be launching more nonprofit civic journalism platforms to help address the crisis in local news.

Our mission

Recognizing that local communities are the lifeblood of society, we aim to deliver high-quality journalism to underserved communities in order to foster civic engagement, enrich people’s lives and contribute to a healthy democracy.

“Whatever future we build for ourselves must include the right to reporting we can trust, produced by people who are of us and for us.”

Joaquin Alvarado, public-service journalism leader and Cityside board member

The national crisis in journalism is most acute at the local level. On an almost weekly basis, reporters and editors are being shed at newspapers controlled by hedge funds and private equity giants. Fortunately, the ecosystem of nonprofit news is rapidly developing.

Research shows that in cities without a source of high-quality local news, municipal borrowing costs and local government corruption increases, voter turnout drops and political polarization increases. 

Our many years of experience at Berkeleyside and The Tyler Loop have taught us that a strong community focus, an unswerving commitment to covering local stories that matter to residents and an openness to dialogue create a powerful bond with our readers and enables trusted, valuable journalism.