The California nonprofit CalMatters is out to make that case—that wealthy individuals in particular are willing to help fill the growing gaps in news coverage. Link to Columbia Journalism Review story.
CALmatters. It’s not just our name. It’s what drives our team to produce compelling coverage on how Sacramento works and why it matters.
CALmatters was launched two years ago because we saw a pressing need for statewide explanatory journalism, analysis and commentary about policy and politics to fill an alarming void in coverage of decision makers in the world’s sixth largest economy. Since then the ranks of statehouse reporters have been further depleted amid mounting news industry layoffs, buyouts and consolidation, while Californians’ thirst for trustworthy, unbiased and fact-based reporting has skyrocketed.
Our mission is simple: to engage and inform Californians, make state government more accountable and transparent and be a trusted source for news. Our CALmatters team is now the biggest statehouse bureau in the political heart of the U.S.’s largest state. Every week we give you in-depth explanatory reporting, commentary and analysis about the players, politics and interests that shape the issues that affect our lives like rising sea levels and soaring housing costs.
The kind of reporting we do takes time, skill and persistence, which is why we need your support to grow and flourish. Read More
Today, CALmatters has more than 110 news partners around the state, a staff of 17, a $2.2 million budget, and we’re the biggest statehouse bureau in the political heart of the U.S.’s largest state, as measured by staff size or audience reach. Link to Nieman Lab article.
Sacramento, CA (June 14, 2017) — Dan Walters, the influential newspaper columnist who for more than 40 years has chronicled the people and politics of California’s state Capitol, is bringing his decades of experience and institutional knowledge to CALmatters, a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters.
“I’m looking forward to reaching even more people with examples of how decisions made by folks in and around state government affect our daily lives,” Walters said. “I started reporting in Sacramento in 1975, and there are still a lot of good stories to tell.”
As Dan knows, California faces a number of challenges that will determine its future. His work at CALmatters will thematically explore these issues. In addition to this regular must-read commentary, Dan will travel throughout the state to explore its challenges in a new series of thoughtful articles that combine his fresh reporting and his deep understanding of California.
CALmatters will share Walters’ work with a network of more than 100 print, radio and online publications that it has developed since its launch as a nonprofit in 2015. Walters’ addition reflects an ongoing growth and expansion at CALmatters as it begins plans for increased content, more political coverage, innovative storytelling forms and audience engagement.
“CALmatters is here because quality, independent journalism is essential to a healthy democracy and new technologies are disrupting the media industry,” said David Lesher, editor and CEO of CALmatters. “Dan’s work is important and we are glad that we can continue to share it with audiences throughout California.” Read More
On the Left Coast, CALmatters issued its package on California climate change policies July 19. The material was published in four dozen newspapers, from the Los Angles Times to the Times-Standard in Euerka, and the audio version was aired by numerous public radio outlets throughout the state. Link to USA Today article.
The new nonprofit news site has raised almost $3 million for explanatory reporting on state government and lawmaking. They’ve also been gathering advice — and advisors — from places like ProPublica and The Texas Tribune. Link to Nieman Lab article.
The Sacramento-based CALmatters will report exclusively on California state policy and politics and plans to both publish its stories on its own site and distribute them to other publications. The site “has had conversations with all of the major newspapers and radio stations in California,” as well as many smaller outlets, said Kaizar Campwala, CALmatters’ president and co-founder, who did not disclose any specific distribution agreements. Link to Columbia Journalism Review article.
Gregory Favre learned early that transformational change in journalism was a fact of life. When he was 8 years old, it was his mission to fold the newspapers at the paper his dad owned in Bay St. Louis, Miss. And, according to Favre, no one ever folded newspapers better. When he was 10, his dad bought a machine to take over the folding. Young Gregory was distraught. Then he had a revelation: The skills that made him the best folder also made him the best machine operator.
“Change is inevitable,” Favre says. “You have to embrace change.”