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Building blocks in the emerging local news ecosystem

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Statistics
Site Twitter handle

@Berkeleyside

Facebook link

https://www.facebook.com/berkeleyside/

Year launched

2009

Tax status

  • LLC

Monthly visitors

220,000

Revenue

  • $251,000 - $500,000

Primary revenue sources (50% or more)

  • Local advertising

Secondary revenue sources (20-49%)

  • Membership

Smaller revenue sources (less than 20%)

  • Events

Publishing platform

  • WordPress

Mobile

45%

E-newsletter

  • Yes

E-newsletter subscribers

9,000+

Is your site indexed on Google News?

  • Yes

City

Berkeley

State

California

Last Publisher Update

  • 2016-03-04 22:40:39 UTC

Berkeleyside
Berkeley, California
Tracey Taylor

Berkeleyside covers local news from Berkeley, Calif. Founded by three professional journalists: Tracey Taylor, Lance Knobel and Frances Dinkelspiel. Topics: Local news, crime, business, arts, food etc. Revenue: Advertising, membership, events.

Introduction by publisher

Berkeleyside is the award-winning independent news site for Berkeley, California. It has 220,000 unique visitors a month in a city with a population of 120,000. Launched in Oct. 2009 by three veteran journalists, Berkeleyside's mission is to provide the highest quality reporting on all areas of the city, from breaking news through crime, culture, food, land use and local government. Berkeleyside serves as a valuable community service and a forum for civic discussion with thousands of lively comments a year, and an active op-ed section. Berkeleyside won the SPJ Excellence in Community Journalism award two years' running. 25,000 people follow us on Twitter and the account won the East Bay Express' Readers Award in 2015. Our Facebook page is very dynamic with 11K+ followers. We have a robust reader-support program with 1,200+ members, and organize a significant annual event, the Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas, every October. In 2015 we launched a podcast series.

Effective engagement practice

We have high engagement with our audience through Twitter, Facebook, and comments on the site. Each one has a distinctive core constituency (some people are FB users but not Twitter and so on.) 25,000 people follow us on Twitter and the account won the East Bay Express' Readers Award in 2015. Our Facebook page is very dynamic with 11K+ followers and we often publish Facebook-only content. We also engage directly with readers face to face with events.

Business challenge

The single biggest challenge on the business/revenue side is the difficulty of recruiting a new sales person. We have been actively looking for several months and can pay a good salary with health benefits. We need more sales prowess to build our revenue, but we can't find any good candidates to hire.

Coverage area

  • Metro or large city

Mission

  • Cover general local news

Topics of coverage

  • Crime & justice
  • Food
  • Government & politics

Other content topics

Topics Berkeleyside covers on a daily or weekly basis: breaking news, crime, food and drink, local government (city council, zoning board and school board meetings), local business, land use, arts (music, theatre, art, film, books), education, nature, community, people.

Watchdog

  • Yes, occasional

Content contributors

  • Professional journalists

Contributor compensation

  • Full-time, paid staff
  • Freelance or part-time paid staff

Revenue-side compensation

  • Full-time, paid staff with commission

In the news

Berkeleyside: The Nimble Hyperlocal News Site is Winning Awards and Attracting Eyeballs: http://alumni.berkeley.edu/california-magazine/winter-2015-breaking-news/berkeleyside-nimble-hyperlocal-news-site-winning

Indie Local News Sites See Potential in Membership Programs: http://www.lionpublishers.com/news/report/082715_membership_programs/

Review of day one of Berkeleyside's Uncharted Festival 2015: http://alumni.berkeley.edu/california-magazine/just-in/2015-10-17/want-justice-system-really-works-all-panelists-say-make