About Local News Matters


Bay City News Foundation serves the San Francisco Bay Area via our free LocalNewsMatters.org website and is backed by charitable donations from contributors who care about local news, a free press, democratic values and an informed citizenry. We target geographic and topical news deserts. We collaborate with other media. We experiment with technology. We work with journalism schools to train the next generation of reporters and provide paid internships for promising new journalists. Some of our stories get cross-published on the affiliated Bay City News regional newswire, reaching as many as 8 million people.


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Board of Directors

Katherine Ann Rowlands

Executive Director, BCNF

Katherine Ann Rowlands is president of Bay City News Service, executive director of Bay City News Foundation and editorial director of LocalNewsMatters.org. She has worked as a journalist for 35 years, covering news in the Bay Area, Central California and overseas. As a 2017 JSK Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, she focused her research on how to overcome gender disparities in newsrooms, especially in leadership positions, and how to bolster local news coverage in the Bay Area. In 2018, she bought Bay City News, a local wire service that has been covering the 9-county San Francisco Bay Area since 1979, and founded a nonprofit to support public service journalism in the region. Before taking on this entrepreneurial venture, she was Editor in Chief of Diablo Magazine, a monthly news and lifestyle publication serving readers in the East Bay. Previously she was an editor for the Mercury News and Bay Area News Group, directing coverage of business and technology in Silicon Valley. She also worked as East Bay Metro Editor, overseeing local and regional news coverage for Alameda and Contra Costa counties, and State and Regional Editor for the newspaper group. Before that she was Business Editor for the San Luis Obispo Tribune and spent four years as a correspondent in Honduras. Kat is also a past president of Journalism and Women Symposium, a national group that provides training, networking and mentoring for women in journalism. She is on the board of the First Amendment Coalition. A Berkeley native, she got her start in journalism as a summer intern for Bay City News Service. Reach her at kat@baycitynews.com.

Rob Merker

Treasurer, BCNF Board

Rob Merker had a successful career starting and operating two real estate-related businesses in New York City and has a strong background in finance. After retiring in 2012, he obtained a doctorate in philosophy with a specialization in ethics from the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center. His dissertation was on ethical issues in philanthropy, and he currently teaches and speaks on ethical issues and philanthropy.  An accomplished public speaker, he has taught at The University of California Berkeley in the OLLI program; Cal State University East Bay in Hayward; and Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY. Rob has served on numerous not-for-profit boards and also served as treasurer for non-profit organizations. He currently sits on the ethics committee of Kaiser Oakland hospital, and the committees for ethical treatment of human subjects at Cal Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley labs.

Sarah Pollock

Secretary, BCNF Board

Sarah Pollock has had a long career editing, managing publications, and teaching. She has been senior editor at Mother Jones, editor-in-chief at Pacific Discovery (the natural history magazine of the California Academy of Sciences), features editor at the Oakland Tribune, and a staff writer at Newsday and the Hartford Courant. She headed the journalism program at Mills College for many years and she is active nationally around issues of diversity and integrity in journalism. She has served on the boards of the Journalism and Women Symposium, the First Amendment Project, Pelican Media and the Julia Morgan School for Girls. She is a public speaker on topics such as truth and trust in journalism; ethics in creative nonfiction; newsroom values and diversity; and teaching strategies in higher education writing classrooms. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where she was managing editor of The Daily Californian.

Ann Grimes

Member, BCNF Board

Ann Grimes currently serves as Director of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in economics and business journalism and teaches at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. She is an award-winning veteran journalist who has held senior editorial positions at The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. She served as Associate Director of the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, a bi-coastal Institute anchored at Stanford’s School of Engineering and Columbia’s Journalism School. While at Brown, she helped oversee the funding and development of dozens of student-led media innovation grants. She also taught a number of interdisciplinary classes at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, the Hasso Plattner School of Design (Stanford’s d.school), and the Departments of Computer Science and Communication where, earlier, she served as Professor of the Practice and Director of the Graduate Program in Journalism. Grimes has written widely on the subject of media innovation for The Columbia Journalism Review, Medium and other outlets. Earlier, Grimes spent eight years with Dow Jones as a business journalist, editor and digital media manager. She was a 1997-1998 John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford.

Lindsay N. Green-Barber

Member, BCNF Board

Lindsay N. Green-Barber, PhD, founder of Impact Architects LLC, is a leading media and communications impact professional with experience in quantitative and qualitative research, new ICTs and media innovation, strategic planning and communication, program measurement and evaluation, management, fundraising, and business administration. She is passionate about using rigorous research methods to inform organizations’ strategy and decision-making to catalyze social change. Lindsay earned her doctorate in Political Science from the City University of New York Graduate Center (’12) and a B.S. in Political Science from Clemson University (’05). Lindsay is a listener, a teacher, a learner, and a speaker based in San Francisco. She has spent time living in New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina, Ecuador, Italy, and England.

Alejandra Saragoza

Member, BCNF Board

Alejandra Saragoza is a content creator and editorial manager in the Bay Area with experience in the publishing industry. She is currently the managing editor for Zendesk, spearheading the daily editorial operations for the award-winning SaaS company. Prior to that, she served as managing editor for California.com, spearheading the content strategy and daily editorial operations for the start-up media site that serves as a guide to living and traveling in California. She also worked as an editor for Diablo magazine, Healthline Media, and other tech companies. Her work has been published in The Huffington Post, Fast Company, Via, and Touring & Tasting. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara, where she majored in communication and minored in professional writing and editing. She also studied at Universidad Complutense de Madrid for one year and worked at an expat magazine.

Ryan Nakashima

Member, BCNF Board

Ryan Nakashima is senior product manager of digital subscriptions at Media News Group. Prior to that, he was a technology and media reporter at The Associated Press, where he worked for 13 years, most recently in the San Francisco Bay Area, covering Google. He has also worked at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, The Japan Times and Agence-France Presse in Tokyo. After covering the movie and music industry’s transition from DVDs and CDs to streaming, he became more concerned that the newspaper industry was not turning the corner fast enough. He joined the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford in 2016-2017 with a focus on a pricing model for ad-free subscriptions. Ad-free subscriptions are now offered at nearly 50 news sites at MediaNews Group. He graduated with a bachelor in journalism from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada where he was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Charlatan.