Alejandra Armstrong joins Cityside from the Bay Area News Group, where she was social media editor working across the East Bay Times and the Mercury News. Credit: Michael Nowels Credit: Michael Nowels

Alejandra Armstrong has joined Cityside’s growing team as audience engagement editor.

Armstrong will work closely with both Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside to help amplify their reporting and connect with readers to ensure the stories coming out of our newsrooms resonate with, and benefit, all parts of the communities we serve.

“We are thrilled Alejandra has joined us,” said Tracey Taylor, Cityside’s co-founder and editorial director. “In the conversations we have already had with her, it is clear she has an astute understanding of how local newsrooms like ours can best reach and engage with our readers. An audience expert has their finger in many pies and I’m confident Alejandra’s expertise will be a huge boon to our organization.”

Before joining Cityside, Armstrong was social media editor at the Bay Area News Group where she helped grow readership at The Mercury News and the East Bay Times, and implemented new content strategies across all the group’s social platforms. She also chaired the California Newspapers Partnership’s Style Committee where she, and journalists from newspapers across the state, analyzed the language being used in reporting to help newsrooms and their stories become more inclusive, and better representative of the communities they cover.

Prior to that, Armstrong, who was born and raised in Arizona, was a digital producer at 12 News KPNX in Phoenix. She was a part of a team that won an Edward R. Murrow award for Breaking News Coverage of an August 2018 Trump rally at the city’s convention center that boiled over into violence.

Armstrong’s East Bay roots are strong. Both her paternal grandparents lived in Oakland and attended UC Berkeley, and Armstong herself helped to lead a journalism summer camp for high school students at Cal in 2015.  

“I am very excited to join a mission-driven newsroom that is actively listening to its audience,” said Armstrong. “I look forward to helping build an even stronger connection between the Berkeley and Oakland communities and our newsrooms. I hope I can pull back the curtain, so to speak, and let readers in on our journalistic process — and I welcome any suggestions and feedback from the community!”

The Oaklandside’s managing editor, Jacob Simas, said: “We’re still in our infancy as a newsroom, and while we’re proud of how much we’ve grown The Oaklandside since launching 18 months ago, we know there is so much more to be done in reaching Oaklanders who aren’t already connecting with our work, and in tailoring our journalism to meet the information needs of all of our communities. Having a dedicated audience engagement editor to begin 2022 feels like a gift. It’s going to help us take that crucial next step as an organization, and we couldn’t be more excited about the mix of skills, experience, and energy that Alejandra is bringing to our team.”

“I am really excited about reconnecting with Alejandra as I worked with her at the Mercury News,” said Berkeleyside Editor-in-Chief Pamela Turntine. “I admire her leadership style — she was always engaging and respectful of others. She brings with her exceptional social media skills and I know she is very enthusiastic about growing our audience here at both Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside.”

When she’s not working, Armstrong likes to root for the Oakland A’s and explore all the Bay Area has to offer, from dining to hiking and its history. Readers can reach Armstrong at alejandra@citysidejournalism.org.

With the arrival of Armstong, Cityside now counts a total of 24 employees — a significant leap from two years ago when Berkeleyside was a lone operator with a staff of just eight. Visit Cityside’s website to learn more about our nonprofit organization, its mission and impact.

Berkeleyside staff

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