Mendocino Voice partners with Bay City News Foundation


The Mendocino Voice has joined nonprofit Bay City News Foundation in a partnership that will allow both organizations to expand the geographic reach and depth of their public service reporting.

As of June 21, The Mendocino Voice came under the umbrella of the 501(c)3 nonprofit managed by the Bay City News Foundation (BCNF), which was established in 2018 to help fill coverage gaps in local news in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California.

The nonprofit, founded by longtime California journalist Katherine Ann Rowlands, publishes the free website, sponsors a paid internship program to create pathways for new journalists, and maintains partnerships with other media, including content sharing and fiscal sponsorships with smaller independent outlets.

The Mendocino Voice, founded by dedicated journalist Kate Maxwell in 2016, will remain a stand-alone online news site covering government, environmental, economic and community issues in Mendocino County.

The merger allows The Voice to add more regional coverage from nearby areas while also gaining back-office support from BCNF and additional staffing from the 24/7 news operation of the affiliated Bay City News wire, which has been serving many dozens of TV, radio, print and digital outlets since 1979. In particular, The Voice will have capacity for deeper coverage of environmental issues relevant to its readers, plus more resources for bringing news, photography, data journalism and round-the-clock editors to the mix.

Kate Maxwell, Mendocino Voice Publisher

“We’re both committed to local, independent coverage that provides the details readers need to stay informed on the issues, from local elections to court proceedings to developing cannabis regulations, environmental coverage and essential community topics,” said Maxwell.

Katherine Rowlands, President of Bay City New Foundation

In addition to expanded geographic reach, the partnership will give BCNF a chance to find synergies with stories that matter to multiple coastal counties already in its 12-county footprint.

“It’s a move toward long-term sustainability for both operations in the face of devastating cuts elsewhere as a record number of journalists are laid off and small newsrooms around the country have shut down,” said Rowlands.

The Mendocino Voice website will be relaunched on a new WordPress platform run by Newspack. The related social media channels, newsletters and membership programs will expand. Donors who care about Mendocino County news and beyond will be able to make tax-deductible contributions through the BCNF nonprofit (Tax ID 83-0654488). The core staff will remain based in Mendocino County with additional support from the 24/7 office in the Bay Area.

Both organizations are members of the Institute for Nonprofit News and Local Independent Online News Publishers. Rowlands and Maxwell are award-winning journalists and participated in the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships program at Stanford University.