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 early 2020 Berkeleyside had a staff of five, and about one dozen regular contributors.
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, including Oakland, 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.
Since its founding in 2009, Berkeleyside has won numerous awards for its journalism and entrepreneurship, among them:
- In 2013, 2014 and 2019, Berkeleyside was the winner of the Excellence in Journalism Award for Community Journalism from the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
- 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.
- In 2019, reporter Natalie Orenstein was named a finalist in the Education Writers Association’s National Awards for Education Reporting.
- In 2019, the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists honored Reporter Natalie Orenstein with an award for longform storytelling for her three-part series Beyond the Buses.
- In 2017, Berkeleyside Senior Editor, News Emilie Raguso was named Journalist of the Year by the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
The Berkeleyside story
Uncharted Festival of Ideas
Between 2013 and 2018, Berkeleyside hosted Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas every October in downtown Berkeley. The Bay Area’s first ideas festival brought together some of the world’s great thinkers for two thrilling days of discussion, debate and workshops designed to engage and inspire.
Our direct public offering
Berkeleyside was the first news site in the country to do a direct public offering and, between 2016 and 2018, raised $1 million in capital from 355 readers who became investors. The success of the DPO testified to Berkeleyside readers’ belief in the need for high-quality independent local journalism in their community.