Clockwise from top left: Frances Dinkelspiel and Emilie Raguso with SF Press Club awards for Berkeleyside; Raguso, at the corner of staircase, after being been named Journalist of the Year; Raguso at work during a ‘Battle of Berkeley;’ Natalie Orenstein, second from left, reporting on a protest at UC Berkeley. Photos: Berkeleyside (top) and David Yee

It’s been a busy and eventful year for Berkeleyside. We have reported on extremist political clashes; interviewed Milo Yiannopoulos; delved into homelessness, controversial school issues, crime in the city and the closure of one of Berkeley last manufacturing plants, Pacific Steel Casting. An independent press is more important than ever.

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Here are some of the highlights from our busy and productive year:

Nov. 2016: Berkeleyside launches 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 DPO had raised over $600,000 from 233 investors by Nov. 2017 and aims to close by the end of 2017. The funds raised so far have enabled 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. Visit for details. Want to know more? Email Lance Knobel at

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

June 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

Sept. 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 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

Oct. 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 pop-up bookstore 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

Nov. 9, 2017: Emilie Raguso named Journalist of the Year

Berkeleyside Senior Reporter Emilie Raguso was named Journalist of the Year by the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. “A reporter with deep knowledge of the community, Raguso is dedicated to exploring the long-term implications of local events,” SPJ NorCal wrote in its release about the award. “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.” Read more about the honor, and watch Raguso receiving the award.

Nov. 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.

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Berkeleyside is Berkeley, California’s independently-owned local news site. Learn more about the Berkeleyside team. Questions?...