Twelve years after founding Berkeleyside, Lance Knobel, Tracey Taylor and Frances Dinkelspiel are stepping back from the day-to-day work on Berkeleyside to focus on Cityside, the journalism nonprofit organization they founded in late 2019 with Tasneem Raja, editor-in-chief of The Oaklandside.
At this pivotal moment in our journey, we are launching The Berkeleyside Founders’ Fund for Local Journalism. The annual fund will be a way for the community to partake in the continued journalistic excellence of Berkeleyside.
It’s been a long and exciting ride since our launch in 2009. The three founders have worked hard, without pay for several years, to build Berkeleyside into the trusted, much-loved community news platform it is today. Berkeleyside is now nationally held up as an award-winning model of an independent online local news organization that has succeeded in becoming a vital part of the city.
We are excited about this new endeavor, but running a nonprofit in the middle of a pandemic is not easy. We need your help today to raise $250,000 over the next 12 weeks — readers have already shown their support by donating more than $60,000 towards the fund in the past few days alone.
The money we raise through the Founders’ Fund will help continue the legacy of our co-founders and “super-charge” investigative reporting on Berkeleyside this year.
Our funding focus in 2021: Going deep
More in-depth reporting on stories that matter
Berkeleyside is known for its breaking news — “Why is there a helicopter circling over Berkeley?” — but also for its deep-dive stories. Some memorable examples include:
- Beyond the Buses: Natalie Orenstein’s three-part series on Berkeley’s voluntary school desegregation
- Emilie Raguso’s reporting on how more than 200 workers at the Golden Gate Fields racetrack got COVID-19.
- Frances Dinkelspiel’s long-running coverage of Pacific Steel Casting, one of Berkeley’s last “smokestack” factories and her investigation into insider dealing by its owners.
But Berkeleyside has a small staff and finding the bandwidth to go deep can be tough. The Berkeleyside Founders’ Fund for Local Journalism will guarantee our reporters can take the time to report on the stories that matter in the thorough, methodical way Berkeley residents deserve. We’ll be soliciting ideas from our readers on what they would like to have us investigate.
Help ensure that Berkeleyside remains a trusted and critical community resource — and honor the work of its co-founders — by making a tax-deductible donation to The Berkeleyside Founders’ Fund for Local Journalism.