Oakland Local is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media and capacity-building organization that promotes civic engagement and discourse on local issues that matter. We are both a go-to media resource for diverse voices in the East Bay of California and a capacity-building tool to help low-income and under-served communities make their voices heard online through the hands-on media training we provide. We are particularly focused on serving Oakland’s low-income communities of color.
We fulfill our mission in three principal ways: First, we report, write, compile and post news and information online at our destination web site, on our Tumblr blog and social media sites, and in the pages of our distribution partners.
Secondly, we offer hands-on trainings, mentoring and support for staffers and volunteers from non-profits and local community groups and local small business people who wish to improve their skills in telling stories, using social media, and build an online presence.
Finally, we support and we also present live events and meet-ups—conversations on the issues, community-building get-togethers, and other programs—and then post and share the proceedings on our web site.
Oakland Local was co-founded by Susan Mernit, Kwan Booth and Amy Gahran. Susan Mernit, OL’s volunteer editor/publisher, started out as an arts organizer in New York before becoming a senior executive at media portal including America Online and Netscape. A non-profit news site focused on daily news and quality digital divide training to help local non-profits and community organizations , Oakland Local was named in a March 2011 City of Oakland survey as the most visited Oakland social media site. With a staff that is 75% people of color, and an audience that is mostly under 35, Oakland Local reaches the diverse audience that embodies Oakland.
For almost 2 years, Oakland Local has played an important role educating and engaging the public and earning the community’s trust. We provide clear, objective, non-partisan information and research on the critical issues including development, food access, transportation, restorative justice, education and arts and culture issues in and around Oakland, CA. Timely information grounded in “hardwired objectivity” is an investment in our community’s future. Our innovative news partnerships with KQED, SF Gate, The Bay Citizen, New America Media and others help us reach broad audiences—but we rely on a mix of grants, advertising and sponsorships and corporate and individual donations to operate.
Contributors: If you would like to be involved with our site, please get in firstname.lastname@example.org.