Since 2004, more than 2,000 local newspapers have closed in the United States and tens of thousands of journalists have lost their jobs. Communities without local news see lower voting rates, more partisanship, and less civic engagement, contributing to a crisis in our democracy. Cityside’s journalism seeks to buttress community connections, and help people feel more engaged with their city and with one another.
Founded by journalists Frances Dinkelspiel, Lance Knobel, Tasneem Raja and Tracey Taylor, Cityside is the parent organization of Berkeleyside, which has earned a reputation nationally as a model for sustainable local journalism, and The Oaklandside, launched in 2020 and built on a foundation of community listening.
Frances, Lance, and Tracey started Berkeleyside in 2009 because they were concerned about the dearth of local reporting on Berkeley. Their instincts and journalism experience helped develop a respected and influential model for trusted, intensely local news.
When Tasneem joined the founding team in 2019 Cityside gained brilliant insight and experience in nonprofit, community journalism. We launched The Oaklandside in 2020 determined to create a newsroom that amplifies community voices, shares the power of real information, and investigates systems, not just symptoms.
Our work at Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside has taught us that a strong community focus, an unswerving commitment to covering local stories that matter to residents, and an openness to dialogue create a powerful bond with our readers and enable trusted, valuable journalism.
Director, Oakland Promise; Director, UC Berkeley Library; former board chair East Bay College Fund