Our Work: Local News Matters

The San Francisco Bay Area is a fascinating, complex and innovative place, full of diverse people, institutions and stories. Bay City News Foundation was established to help fill the gaps in coverage that have emerged in the region and work with others to create, publish and distribute those stories. We now have 50 reporters and editors, a paid internship program and a robust website covering local news, equity issues, data trends and information hubs about COVID-19, local libraries and the upcoming fire season.

Join us in this important mission.

Milestones Since Founding in 2018:

~ Launched LocalNewsMatters.org as a non-profit site for readers with community news, data reporting, projects, features and partnerships with other non-profit media on environment, health, demographics, business, education, arts and entertainment

~ Published hundreds of stories, photos, graphs and packages with fresh items posted daily; created weekly newsletters on local news and arts and culture; started a photo department from scratch to pair original images with all stories; grew our audience to 114k unique monthly visitors at LocalNewsMatters.org

~ Published “Equity Ripples,” a series of stories and photos related to uneven resource distribution in the region; a cartoon gallery for commentary; a series on police reform in the region; weekly Best Bets to highlight cultural trends and events; information hubs to help readers find critical news about COVID019, the 2020 election, wildfires, drought and library services

~ Partnered with Catchlight Local to create a series of photo stories about equity issues in the region; worked with ProPublica Local on a series of investigative stories about PG&E and the state Public Utilities Commission; collaborated with USC Annenberg Center for Health Reporting on a series about water supply issues and health; experimented with Agenda Watch civic coverage with Big Local News at Stanford University; teamed up with Ethnic Media Services for census and COVID-19 coverage to highlight underserved communities

~ Published more than 75 “Data Points” to help readers understand the changing Bay Area, county by county; built capacity to publish weekly data projects for the 12-county Bay Area on equity, wildfires, demographic shifts and COVID-19; partnered with Microsoft News to build new data skills for staff, templates for regional and statewide data packages, and distribution to other media

~ Created dozens of jobs and a network of freelance reporters, providing work for journalists who might not otherwise have outlets for their work

~ Created a paid internship program, especially for women and people of color who are not well represented in newsrooms

Strategic Plans for Future:

~ Pursue additional collaborative reporting projects to expand distribution of important journalism about housing, income inequality, immigration, health care, the environment and culture in the Bay Area

~ Build audience for our free LocalNewsMatter.org public service website, grow newsletter readership and add new products to bring news to local readers in the way they want to get it

~ Expand Information Hub model to help readers find practical, useful, reliable information about topics and issues of high importance such as COVID-19, drought, wildfires, elections

~ Grow combined budgets to more than $1 ML per year to support local journalism, enhancing coverage of the greater Bay Area, including 12 counties, building on $1 ML raised during first  four years through individual and institutional donors, sponsorships and partnerships to support more local journalism

~ Experiment with membership models, sponsors, crowdfunding and micro-subscription tools to increase revenue for targeted coverage of Bay Area culture and cities like Martinez that are losing local newspapers

~ Expand our network of freelance reporters and editors to provide more news coverage of the region, which stretches from metro areas to the wine country to the Peninsula to the suburbs to Silicon Valley; build partnerships with local communities to rebuild local news operations

Also… Women Do News, a special project

In 2021, Bay City News Foundation sponsored Women Do News, an important project to even the playing field for women journalists.

Our Mission: Women Do News works to raise the visibility of women journalists by increasing the quantity and enhancing the quality of their Wikipedia entries.

Why it matters: Visibility on Wikipedia is paramount in driving gender parity in journalism leadership. Presently, fewer than 20% of Wikipedia biographies are females and this imbalance extends to women in journalism, negatively impacting the perception about their contributions to the field.

Background: Women journalists are underrepresented on Wikipedia, one of the most-visited English language websites in the world. This leads to issues related to safety, credibility, recognition, and income. The Women Do News project grew out of a 2019 cohort of journalists participating in Take The Lead, a leadership training program co-founded by Gloria Feldt. It has since evolved to partner with other allies at universities and journalism groups to identify worthy women journalists for biographies, train editors, and add Wikipedia entries to even the playing field on this important platform. We are now part of a nonprofit, Bay City News Foundation, to support this work. Help us if you can.

Follow us on Twitter @womendonews

Find us on Wikipedia

Impact with a Hybrid Model

Bay City News Foundation is dedicated to public service journalism. Our work gets amplified by an affiliation with a longstanding regional newswire that serves most other media in the SF Bay Area, including broadcast, print and digital outlets. The hybrid model allows our community coverage to reach millions of viewers, listeners and readers every day.