Zac Farber, Berkeleyside managing editor. Credit: Kelly Sullivan

Zac Farber joined Berkeleyside as its new managing editor on April 19.

Farber is the former editor of the Southwest Journal, a 30,000-circulation biweekly community paper in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While there, he led coverage of the killing of George Floyd and launched a special reporting project that tracked the pandemic’s toll on the community.

In 2020, the paper’s staff won eight awards in the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists Page One Award contest — more than any other non-daily newspaper in the state. As the Southwest Journal faltered economically in the pandemic, Farber spearheaded the paper’s first-ever donation drive. It wasn’t enough to save the paper, but it led Farber to believe that the path forward for local news lies in a nonprofit model.

“I believe a local news outlet must serve and speak for a variety of different communities, each with distinct informational needs,” Farber said. “But journalists also serve as the stewards of a shared reality — creating a space where people can collectively debate ideas and grapple with facts and check what they read against what they see.”

Farber was also an editor at Patch Twin Cities, a web producer at WCCO-TV and a web editor and staff writer at the Finance & Commerce newspaper.

Farber is no stranger to Berkeley. As a youth, he spent two weeks every year visiting his aunt and uncle on Scenic Avenue, cardboarding down the stone slide in Codornices Park and dining at Bongo Burger.

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