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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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