CalMatters is a nonpartisan and nonprofit news organization bringing Californians stories that probe, explain and explore solutions to quality of life issues while holding our leaders accountable. We are the only journalism outlet dedicated to covering America’s biggest state, 39 million Californians and the world’s fifth largest economy.
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To improve California’s democracy by making its government more transparent and accountable and give Californians the information they need to understand and engage with that government.
Frequently Asked Questions
When was CalMatters founded? What is the ownership structure?
We were incorporated on Dec. 3, 2014. We are a nonprofit organization guided by a board of directors.
Our first day of publication was July 18, 2015. Our first work touched on: greenhouse gas emissions, climate change advocates, the climate change battle, a look at if the state will meet its greenhouse gas goals, California’s environmental future, an opinion column on electric cars, an opinion column on extreme weather and an opinion column on electricity generation.
Who funds CalMatters?
We are funded by a mix of foundations, major donors, members and corporate sponsors. We disclose our supporters and post our tax returns and financial statements.
Are our journalists independent of special interests?
Our news gathering and editing is independent of commercial or political interests. We do not accept gifts of any kind that could lead to a conflict-of-interest or appearance thereof. The newsroom is insulated from donors, sponsors and advertisers as outlined in our policies and standards page.
What are our policies for ethics and privacy?
View our policies and standards here.
Are we open to actionable feedback?
Our audiences are frontline witnesses to life in California – public safety, politics, housing, social movements, schools, culture – and your insights can help shape our news. We invite your comments on news stories, suggestions for issues to cover or sources to consult. We believe that news organizations have a responsibility to engage with the public on the values, issues and ideas of the day, and that we have much to gain in return. Contact us at email@example.com.
What is our corrections policy?
We are committed to notifying our audiences as quickly as possible when an error has been made. We note the error, the correct information and the magnitude of the error. Major errors are noted at the top of stories while minor factual corrections are noted at the bottom of stories. If you would like to report an inaccuracy email either firstname.lastname@example.org or Editor David Lesher, email@example.com. Stories generally are not updated post-publication, but decisions on when to do so are made by our editors and stories updated show a time the story was last updated.
Do we use anonymous sources?
We reserve anonymity only for sources who may face danger, retribution or other harm and who have information that cannot be obtained elsewhere. We consider sources’ motivations before promising anonymity. When using an anonymous source we provide readers with an explanation in our story. We do not ever use pseudonyms.
Diversity & Inclusion
Our mission to improve California’s democracy by providing Californians with nonpartisan information can only be fully accomplished when our staff, leadership, content and audiences reflect the people of the state we serve, and when our website is fully accessible.
The complex issues we face as a society require respect for different viewpoints. Race and ethnicity, class, generation, geography and other factors all affect point of view. Reflecting these differences across our organization leads to better, more nuanced stories and a better-informed community.
Staff: We believe that a more diverse news team helps us to better accomplish our mission and serve people across the state. We are actively working to build a team of people who represent the community across race and ethnicity, ideology, socioeconomic status and gender. We are also actively committed to building an inclusive workplace where various viewpoints are included and welcomed in order to improve our work. We also work on maintaining equity across our staff.
Leadership: We are firmly committed to diversity among our board of directors and internal leadership. Organizational leadership positions matter, as these people have greater influence over the work that we do and how we do it.
Content: Our journalists are committed to diversifying our sources along with carefully considering the words, phrases and labels we use in our writing.
Audiences: We can only truly serve the people of California by focusing on reaching many communities across racial and ethnic backgrounds, language preferences, socioeconomic status, and other factors.
Accessibility: We are committed to making our organization accessible to people with a variety of mental and physical capabilities internally and externally. We maintain an office in Sacramento that is physically accessible. We understand that hiring people across the accessibility spectrum can help improve the work that we do. And we understand that improving the ways in which people use our content includes careful consideration of people with different physical abilities.
Board of Directors
Chair Emeritus and Co-Founder
Simone Coxe is a native Californian committed to journalism as a means to create a better world. She is on the board of Internews, whose focus is on building sustainable local media around the world. She serves on the advisory board of the UC Berkeley School of Journalism. And she spent eleven years on the KQED board. Professionally, Simone co-founded Blanc & Otus, a public relations firm serving the technology industry, and served as its CEO from 1985-2000.
Chris Boskin is a highly respected veteran of magazine publishing, with a career that includes senior positions with Worth Media, The New Yorker Magazine, Hearst Corporation, East West Network, and Knapp Communications. She was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2008 to chair the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and currently serves as an advisor to Tech4GS. She has served on the boards of NPR, Internews, College Track, the Gladstone Institutes and Higher Ground. She is a member of the Board Development Committee and the Nominating and Governance Committee.
John Boland is president emeritus of KQED public media, where was the organization’s president & chief executive officer for nine years before retiring in 2019. Boland now serves as chair of the CalMatters board of directors, chair of the Green Music Center board of advisors at Sonoma State University, and vice chair of the Commonwealth Club of California board of governors. A media executive and journalist, Boland is a leader in the reinvention of public media to serve the rapidly changing needs of the American public in the digital age. He served for four years as the first chief content officer of the national Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) between two stints at KQED. Prior to his tenure at PBS, Boland held several executive positions at KQED for more than a decade, including executive vice president and chief operating officer, and vice president of marketing, development and communications. He also created the role of chief content officer at KQED in 2002 — the first such position in public media. Boland began his multi-faceted media career as an award-winning daily newspaper reporter and editor in his native New Jersey. He has been a newspaper publisher and owner, a senior executive with two major international marketing and communications firms, and publisher of San Francisco Focus (now San Francisco magazine). Boland and his partner, James Carroll, divide their time between San Francisco and Dos Reis Ranch in Sebastopol, Ca.
Janet Clayton was most recently the senior vice president of corporate communications for Southern California Edison and its parent company Edison International. Prior to joining Edison, Clayton was president of ThinkCure, a community-based nonprofit that raises funds for cancer research and is the official charity of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Prior to ThinkCure, Clayton had a distinguished career at the Los Angeles Times as a key member of the newspaper’s leadership team. She held numerous positions, including editor of the editorial pages, where she determined the Times’ official opinions, and California section editor, where she managed the largest news staff at the newspaper. Clayton has received many accolades for excellence in her profession, including recognition as the editor of two Pulitzer Prize-winning series. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. She is the Chair of the Board Development Committee and a member of the Board Executive Committee.
Gregory Favre is a long-distinguished figure in the world of journalism. His decades of newspaper experience include serving as assistant sports editor of the Atlanta Journal, managing editor of the Dayton Daily News, editor of the Palm Beach Post, news director of WPLG TV in Miami, editor of the Corpus Christi CallerTimes, managing editor of the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago SunTimes, executive editor of The Sacramento Bee, and vice president of news for McClatchy Newspapers. He is a former president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the California Society of Newspaper Editors, and was a fellow for journalism values at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. He has served on numerous industry boards and advisory committees, as well as on the advisory board for the UC Davis Health Systems and as chair of the Foundation for American Communications. He chairs the Board Finance Committee.
Richard Koci Hernandez
Richard Koci Hernandez is an internationally recognized, award-winning innovator in journalism and multimedia and national Emmy award winning multimedia producer who worked as a visual journalist at the San Jose Mercury News for 15 years. His photographic work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and a National Geographic Book on iPhone Photography, among others. Koci’s photojournalism and multimedia work has garnered numerous awards on the national and regional level, including four national Emmy nominations. He has taught multimedia workshops for Stanford University, National Press Photographers Association, National Association for Hispanic Journalists and National Association for Black Journalists, among many others. In 2008, Koci Hernandez was invited to join the faculty at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism as a visiting fellow and in 2017 he was named an Associate Professor for New Media. He is a member of the Board Strategic Planning Committee.
Jeffrey S. Klein has had a 40 year career in the media world as a business executive, lawyer and writer. He co-founded 101communications, a multimedia business publisher and event producer that later became 1105 Media, where he now serves as Executive Chairman. He spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times as a senior executive and started his career there as the newsroom lawyer. He also was CEO of California Community Newspapers. He wrote a regular consumer law column for the LA Times and a business column for Folio Magazine, which named him one of the forty most influential people in the industry. He has taught graduate level media courses at USC and Columbia University and served as Executive in Residence at the Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy. He was Chairman of MEND, an anti-poverty nonprofit, and now sits on the Board of Trustees of Claremont McKenna College, his alma mater. He chairs the Board Strategic Planning Committee and is a member of the Board Executive Committee.
David “Mas” Masumoto
David “Mas” Masumoto is an organic peach and grape farmer and the author of 11 books including: Epitaph for a Peach, Wisdom of the Last Farmer, Heirlooms, Letters to the Valley, Four Seasons in Five Senses, Harvest Son, Country Voices, and Silent Strength. He, along with his wife, Marcy, and daughter, Nikiko, published a family farm cookbook, The Perfect Peach in 2013. Masumoto is now a columnist for The Fresno Bee and the Sacramento Bee. He was a Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellow from 2006-2008. His writing awards include Commonwealth Club Silver medal, Julia Child Cookbook award, and the James Clavell Literacy Award. He is on the board of the Central Valley Community Foundation and the National Council for the Arts, which is the board of the National Endowment for the Arts. He also served on the James Irvine Foundation board and is the former chair of the California Council for the Humanities board. He is a member of the Board Strategic Planning Committee.
Hema Sareen Mohan
Hema Sareen Mohan brings more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit and public sectors. Her areas of expertise and focus include education policy, juvenile justice, and police reform. For a decade, she worked in the California State Senate and County of Santa Clara. While in the State Senate, she worked on the landmark legislation to change the kindergarten entry age and create a new grade known as transitional kindergarten in California public schools. Hema’s nonprofit experience includes seven years at the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York-based nonprofit policy and research organization, where she designed and directed a training program for school-based police officers to use positive behavior support techniques with students, and worked on an alternative-to-detention program for immigrants in deportation proceedings. Hema is also a published poet and was most recently a finalist for the San Mateo County Poet Laureate.
She serves on the boards of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula, Stanford University’s Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, and the Child & Family Institute. Hema holds a BA in political science from Hunter College and an MPA from Columbia University. She is a member of the Board Finance Committee and Development Committee
Leo Wolinsky has a long and illustrious career spanning more than 30 years at the Los Angeles Times, where he served as a correspondent, City Editor, California Political Editor and Deputy Chief of the State Capitol Bureau. He also served as Executive, Managing and Associate Editor at the paper. Wolinsky directed the Times’ coverage of the Los Angeles Riots and Northridge Earthquake, reporting that earned the newspaper two Pulitzer Prizes. He has since served as Editor of Daily Variety and now consults with media companies on a wide range of issues. He is the chair of the Board Nominating and Governance Committee and a member of the Board Audit Committee.
CalMatters was founded in 2015 to fill the gap left by a shrinking press corps: to empower people to engage on key issues, hold the powerful accountable and create a better California.
We are now the trusted source for information and analysis on complex statewide policies and politics.
Our office is in Sacramento, but our team is spread out across the state. Our diverse team includes more than 40 experienced journalists along with product and revenue professionals.
We reach 1 in 10 people across the state by distributing our work, at no cost, to more than 250 media partners. We have readers and listeners in every major metropolitan area and throughout the state’s nearly 500 cities.
Our team has been recognized and honored with top state, regional and national awards from the National Press Club, the Online News Association, the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Public Media Journalists Association, the Institute for Nonprofit News, the Edward R. Murrow Award, the Society of Professional Journalists, Best of the West and California News Publishers.
We’re supported by a diverse and growing group of members, major donors, media, community and family foundations, and institutional supporters.
Our work has inspired changes across the spectrum of issues we cover including environment, education, public health, public safety, governance, natural disaster response, campaign finance, housing, jobs and more.