KQED president emeritus John Boland, Voice Media Ventures founder Paulette Brown-Hinds, and author and farmer David “Mas” Masumoto have joined CalMatters as the newest board members, the nonprofit media venture announced today.
“We’re honored to have three such experienced and esteemed leaders join our board,” co-founder and Board Chair Simone Coxe said. “They bring geographic reach, deep connections with state policy and politics, experience in digital and multimedia journalism, and skills with audience development and engagement.”
The additions to the board coincide with a tremendous year of growth for CalMatters, which has expanded rapidly since its founding in 2015. At a time when many California media organizations are declining and shrinking, CalMatters has carved out a leadership role preserving and expanding journalism.
Today, with a staff of 31 in Sacramento and Los Angeles, it produces hundreds of stories each year that reach tens of millions of people through CalMatters.org and more than 188 news organizations including all of California’s major newspapers and public radio stations. CalMatters produces a podcast, a daily newsletter, a forum for statewide commentary and a series of public events. It has received several state and national awards for in-depth collaboration and innovative storytelling formats that included video and interactives.
John Boland served as the KQED’s president and chief executive officer from March 2010 through March 2019, leading its transition to a digital first public media station. From 2006 to 2010, he served as the first chief content officer of the national Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Prior to his tenure at PBS, Boland served in 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.Read More
Jocelyn Wiener, an award-winning Bay Area journalist with international experience, will join CalMatters to write about Californians and their experience with health care.
Wiener worked recently as a freelance writer on a compelling series for CalMatters about mental health. The series, titled “Breakdown,” profiled intimate experiences with suicide, family stress and homelessness as well as the comments from industry and political leaders about why the mental health system is considered so dysfunctional. The series was featured in a CalMatters-produced segment on PBS Newshour and it received a first-place award from the Society of Professional Journalists in Northern California.
Weiner worked previously at the California Health Care Foundation’s Center for Health Reporting and she covered social issues for the Sacramento Bee. As a freelance reporter she also wrote stories from India and Latin America and she lived in Central America several years as a Fulbright Scholar studying youth and gang violence. She speaks fluent Spanish, graduated from Stanford University and has masters in journalism from Columbia University.
CalMatters is significantly increasing its coverage of health issues. In addition to Wiener, CalMatters reporter Elizabeth Aguilera will continue to cover health issues from Los Angeles and a third reporter will be added soon based in Sacramento.Read More
Nigel Duara, a national, multi-media journalist, will join CalMatters to cover poverty and inequality issues as part of the California Divide project, a unique collaboration among major state news organizations.
Duara most recently worked as a Los Angeles-based national and climate correspondent at VICE News Tonight on HBO. Previously, he was a national correspondent based in Phoenix covering border issues for the Los Angeles Times. He also worked for the Associated Press in Portland, Ore. and Iowa City, IA.
Duara will work for CalMatters from Los Angeles where he will be part of an eight-member editorial team assigned to the California Divide media collaboration. The California Divide team includes Marla Cone, who is the hub editor based at CalMatters, and seven reporters embedded throughout California at CalMatters, at La Opinión and at newspapers operated by McClatchy Co., USA Today Network and Media News Group. For more information and stories produced by the project, click here.
As the name implies, “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” is never short on problems to discuss.
The two hosts, Matt Levin of CalMatters and Liam Dillon of The Los Angeles Times, offer a regular take on the many (many, many) housing woes that bedevil California: Why is homelessness such an intractable problem in California’s biggest cities? What can state lawmakers do to rein in rising rents? And what exactly is the best term for an accessory dwelling unit?
This afternoon, at the Public Policy Institute of California in San Francisco, the two reporters tried to find some answers.
Their guests were Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Dr. Margot Kushel, director of the UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, and Candice Gonzalez, a Silicon Valley housing developer, and the event was billed as an effort to “solve the California housing crisis.”
Or, at the very least, have a really interesting discussion. You can watch the whole thing here.Read More
CalMatters is your organization, created to serve you and funded by your donations. I’m proud to report that we’re taking your nonpartisan, nonprofit newsroom to a new level this week with a number of changes you can see. And some you can’t:
CALmatters took home 23 awards, including nine first place winners, at the California News Publishers Association Journalism Awards dinner in Long Beach, CA.
The awards, given out May 4, celebrate the best journalism in the state. This was the first year digital news outlets like CALmatters could enter.
“We’re very proud of our very talented CALmatters team,” said Editor Dave Lesher, who also credited Managing Editor Vicki Haddock, Deputy Editor Shawn Hubler, Senior editor Dan Morain, and Contributing Editor Linda Rogers along with the reporters, videographer and news developer who were recognized.
Reporter Ben Christopher, videographer Byrhonda Lyons, news developer John Osborn D’Agostino won first place for Public Service for our 2018 Election Guide. The judges called the guide “an absolute wonderful example of public service.” … “The news organization did a comprehensive job of laying out all the issue and candidate positions in an online magazine format with videos. Then after the election, CALmatters came back and explained it all. A real reader service.”
CALmatters also took first place for the home page of our website and second place for General Excellence. “Rarely does a non-profit, community funded news Website rise to the level of what CALmatters offers,” the judges said. “When you visit CalMatters, you get the sensation that you are visiting a large news organization. And, of course, the journalism is superb.” Read More
Report for America, the national service program that places journalists in under-covered communities, is funding three reporters for an ambitious effort focused on California’s worst-in-the-nation poverty rate and the growing divide between the state’s rich and poor.
The project brings together CALmatters, McClatchy’s five California news organizations and the 25 Digital First newsrooms across the state in a first-of-its-kind joint reporting collaboration. The Report for America journalists will be based at The Fresno Bee, The Mercury News in San Jose and the CALmatters newsroom in Sacramento as part of a team we’re building to bring an unprecedented level of attention to this vital issue.
With millions of Californians living in or near poverty, we’ll cover the important legislative and policy issues and provide on-the-ground reporting about the people who are affected. This significant expansion of Report for America — which started a year ago with 13 reporters, is assigning 60 more in the coming year and plans to have 1,000 working across the country by 2023 — is the first step toward building a substantial longterm statewide initiative. Several donors have already contributed to the launch of our poverty coverage, and we’re in conversations with others who will help us scale it statewide. The coverage will be made available to our 160 media partners across the state, in multiple languages.
This expansion of Report for America is possible because of generous support from many sources, including these: Facebook Google News Initiative Knight Foundation Ford Foundation Heising-Simons Foundation Dirk and Natasha Ziff Galloway Family Foundation Craig Newmark Philanthropies The Tow Foundation Select Equity Group Foundation Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation The Lenfest Institute for Journalism The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation The Joyce Foundation The Steans Family Foundation Henry L. Kimelman Family Foundation Duo Collective
We deeply appreciate their support, and we’re grateful that Report for America is embracing and enabling our effort to bring this important coverage to Californians. Read More
Neil Chase, an experienced leader of news organizations and journalism innovator, will join CALmatters as Chief Executive Officer on January 2, the board of directors announced today.
Chase will assume the CEO position from David Lesher, CALmatters co-founder, who will continue to serve as editor. The addition of Chase reflects the growing demand and opportunity for CALmatters to expand its high-quality journalism and its mission to improve California’s democracy through more understanding, transparency and accountability.
Since 2016, Chase has been the executive editor of The Mercury News and the East Bay Times, winner of an all-staff Pulitzer Prize in 2017. Chase worked for more than 30 years as an editor, manager and marketer, in recent years building digital brands and audience as a senior vice president at Federated Media Publishing and as a consultant for major publishers and corporations. He has been a leading participant in national discussions about the future of journalism, including the emerging nonprofit sector. And he served previously as Managing Editor at CBS MarketWatch and Continuous News Editor at the New York Times.
“Dave Lesher and his team have produced impactful one-of-a-kind stories about state politics that have provided insight and analysis to the growing readership served by CALmatters,” said Simone Coxe, co-founder and board chair. “Neil’s marketing and business acumen will be critical as we expand our statewide reach and grow and diversify our revenue.”
CALmatters has grown rapidly since its founding in 2015. Today, with a staff of about two dozen in Sacramento and Los Angeles, it produces hundreds of stories each year that are posted at CALmatters.org and shared with more than 150 news organizations including all of California’s major newspapers and public radio stations. In 2018, CALmatters produced an award winning election guide and added a podcast, a daily newsletter, a forum for statewide commentary and a series of public events. It has also received several state and national awards for in-depth collaboration and innovative storytelling formats that included video and interactives. Read More
We are excited to share that CALmatters has won the prestigious EPPY award for our California election guide.
The guide was recognized as the Best Innovation Project on a website with under 1 million pageviews a month. Given by the Editor & Publisher magazine, the EPPY awards are intended to honor the best in digital media. The magazine’s staff recruited 49 judges this year to choose winners in 30 categories.
The CALmatters newsroom, which put in months of hard work into the guide, is thrilled to receive this recognition. “Every election year, news organizations face the big challenge of how to engage readers, viewers and listeners in what many citizens consider boring, even irrelevant to their daily lives: midterm elections,” said CALmatters Publisher Marcia Parker. “Traditional voter guides, information-packed as they are, don’t always help. This year, CALmatters set out to make the races and propositions accessible and meaningful with a unique approach. We positioned voters as the hiring committee evaluating candidates for the top jobs in state government.”
The election guide is a nonpartisan resource that comprehensively explains the propositions you’ll see at the state level on the ballot, reviews candidates for statewide offices and covers critical races. It is designed to deliver all the information voters need as they prepare to head to the polls. In addition to articles about the arguments and endorsements on each side, this guide also has an interactive ballot guide as well as an explainer video series. There’s also a fun interactive Gimme Props game. If you haven’t visited it yet, do check it out here.
CALmatters welcomes Donna Lucas, President and CEO of Lucas Public Affairs, and Christy Remey Chin, a Venture Partner at the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, on to the CALmatters Advisory Board
“We are thrilled to have these two very talented and accomplished women join our advisory board,” said CALmatters Publisher Marcia Parker. “They have a broad range of experience, skills and networks.”
Chin, an advocate of social entrepreneurship and high-impact philanthropy, has been instrumental in growing the Foundation’s pipeline, portfolio support, and stewardship of its donor partners over the past decade. Chin has served on the boards of Accountability Counsel, Adventure Scientists, Blue Engine, CareMessage, Green City Force, Jacaranda Health, Students for Education Reform, Urban Teachers and Watsi. Her career includes impressive achievements at the Skoll Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Bedrock Capital Partners and Norwest Venture Capital and at a venture-backed company, The Frontier Group
She also chairs the board of Benetech, serves on the National Venture Capital Association board and is on the advisory board of Ashoka U. Chin received her MBA from the Harvard Business School and holds a BA in History from Colgate University. Read More