Benito Link is a community-driven, non-profit local news site serving rural Benito County, which borders Santa Clara County, California. The nonprofit site seeks donations and sponsorships among other funding sources. Its mission is to inform all residents in decisions and engage them in order to improve our community's "quality of life."
San Benito County, Calif.
Just starting to expand education coverage.
Facebook and Twitter regular usage. Facebook numbers are very good.
Commenting is definitely a sign of engagement and is a wealth of good ideas brought forward by community members.
We have a "contributor's night" twice a year to get all the story producers paid or unpaid together. Lots of fun and improves loyalty.
Creating memberships now because people are asking for it.
Co-hosting political forums to demonstrate our commitment to political coverage.
Improving our Calendar.
We have certain stories that are picked up regularly. Our county voted against fracking in 2015 and we got a lot of attention from the bay area on that topic. Pinnacles National Park also draws interest.
What we notice is that we will run a story and Bay Area news organizations will pick it up soon afterward using us as a story idea source but not crediting it.
Here's a typical example-
Santa Cruz and SF PBS have not been warm to working with BenitoLink in general and typically don't like our "rural" perspective on things but they watch us a lot for story ideas.