Building Community Through Local Journalism

About us

Cityside is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization committed to building community through local journalism. We provide readers with fact-driven, nonpartisan, informative reporting that seeks to reflect the diversity and complexity of the communities we serve.

Our leadership team

Frances Dinkelspiel, Co-Founder and Executive Editor, was a co-founder of Berkeleyside and former staff writer for The San Jose Mercury News. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Daily Beast and People magazine. She is the author of two best-selling books, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California and Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California.

Lance Knobel, Co-Founder and CEO, was a co-founder of Berkeleyside and worked as a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was Editor-in-Chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine in Britain, and World Link, the magazine of the World Economic Forum. In 1999-2000 he was director of the Programme of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Jill Kunishima, Vice President of Development, has spent her career raising awareness and resources for a multitude of impactful and innovative organizations, including EBALDC, Lincoln, Covenant House California and the Peralta Colleges Foundation. All her work stems from a strong passion for equity and justice. She is a long-time Oakland resident and a supporter of journalism.

Colleen Leary, Vice President, Client Partnerships, is responsible for Cityside’s local sponsorship revenue. She took the lead revenue role at Berkeleyside in 2018. Prior to that, she worked in management and senior account roles at Fandom and Fox Sports.

Tasneem Raja, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Oaklandside, has been a consistent innovator in nonprofit news. She was the co-founder and executive editor of The Tyler Loop in Tyler, TX, a senior editor of NPR’s Code Switch, and senior editor for data journalism at Mother Jones.

Tracey Taylor, Co-Founder and Editorial Director, was a co-founder of Berkeleyside. Before that, she wrote for The New York Times, the Financial Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others. Tracey has worked as an editor and publisher for business magazines and at the Financial Times in London.

Michael Zivyak, Chief Revenue Officer, has spent over 25 years in both national and city and regional media. He started his own local media company in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts and worked in sales and upper management roles at Modern Luxury, Sonoma Media Investments, Business 2.0, SPIN Magazine, Time Inc, and Conde Nast. Michael is passionate about local journalism that serves and uplifts a community.

Our board of directors

Mike Olson, Chair

Co-founder and former CEO, Cloudera

Joaquin Alvarado

Co-founder, Studio To Be; former CEO, Center for Investigative Reporting

Candice Fortman

Executive Director, Outlier Media

Andy Fremder

Director, Beneficial State Bank; Director, UC Theatre; co-founder, East Bay College Fund

Evelyn Nussenbaum

Fundraiser; former journalist at CNN, The New York Times, New York Post

Emily Ramshaw

CEO and co-founder, The 19th; former Editor-in-Chief, Texas Tribune

Martin Reynolds

Co-Executive Director, Maynard Institute; former Editor-in-Chief, Oakland Tribune


Job openings

There are currently no job openings at Cityside.

Our policies

Editorial independence

We subscribe to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News:

Our organization 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 donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, 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 donor support. Editorial decisions are made by journalists and editors alone. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content.

Our organization may consider donations 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 one-time donations of $1,000 or more. As a news nonprofit, we avoid accepting charitable donations from anonymous sources in excess of $5,000, government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates seeking public office. If our board of directors deems a donation presents a conflict of interest with our work or will compromise our independence, we will not accept that donation.

Nonprofit newsrooms that are members of the Institute for Nonprofit News pledge to be transparent about the funding of their news operations and maintain editorial independence from all revenue sources to ensure news judgments are made in the interest of the communities they serve as journalists.

Sponsorship and advertising

Cityside accepts corporate sponsorships and underwriting, and runs sponsored content that is clearly differentiated from news stories. No sponsored content will be produced by Cityside editorial employees, and we retain the right to reject sponsored content that doesn’t meet our editorial standards. 

Our reporters play no role in cultivating financial relationships with major donors or corporate sponsors. Top editors at Cityside do work with the business side of our operations —marketing, sponsorship and development — to help support, promote and enhance editorial efforts while protecting our editorial independence and integrity. Cityside employees may be involved, at their own discretion, in promoting membership drives or fundraising initiatives. They may be featured in marketing materials, but they are under no obligation to do so.

Equity and inclusion

Cityside is committed to reflecting the diversity of the communities it serves in its staff and contributors, its editorial choices and priorities. We think it is important to fill our newsrooms with people coming from all sorts of backgrounds, who hold differing perspectives, and who are of different ages. We are committed to employing people from communities that have long been underrepresented in the journalism profession. That includes African Americans, Latinx, other people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.

As Cityside continues to grow, we reaffirm our commitment to a robust and thoughtful hiring process, and also to focus on our own organization, ensuring that our initiatives are well balanced between external pipeline-building efforts and internal retention and culture-enhancing programs.

Our policies were inspired by the editorial and ethics policies at INN, ProPublica, and the Texas Tribune.  


Berkeleyside is launching a sister site in Oakland to help fill the void left by pillaged newspapers (Nieman Lab)

Google’s next local news investment is in Oakland (Axios)

Save local journalism! (The New York Times)

Berkeleyside announces $3 million in grants and move into Oakland (KTVU)

The Google News Initiative is embracing a nonprofit model (Business Insider)