Mission Local launched in 2008 as part of a foray into hyper-local journalism by UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. By the time the J-school decided to discontinue it early this year, Mission Local had earned a loyal following among readers, staffers and media critics. So in August we signed papers making Mission Local an independent news site.
We have been operating on our own since the summer, thanks to a small staff and summer interns supported through the Rowland and Pat Rebele Digital and Print Journalism Internship Program.
When we launched in 2008, we wrote, “Mission Local believes that by covering a neighborhood fairly and thoroughly, we can build community and a sustainable model for quality journalism.”
We now believe that, to be viable and truly serve the community, we need to do more.
Over the next year we will be experimenting with various ways to engage more deeply with the community. We hope to build a better platform – one that is fully mobile and will reach readers and businesses.
While we want a better platform, we know that technology alone is not the answer. Readers want reported content. So as we become smarter at engaging and savvier with the technology we use, we will also focus on improving our journalism .
If you would like to be part of this effort – on any front – please contact me at Lydia.Chavez@missionlocal.com.
Who are “we?”
I’m Lydia Chávez, the editor, and a Mission resident since 1998, a professor the J-school and a former reporter for The New York Times. My husband, Mark Rabine, has lived here since 1977 so we’re part of two different waves of newcomers – the artists and activists of the 1970s and the professionals of the 1990s.
Rigoberto Hernandez started as an intern and has worked here off and on since the spring of 2009. He graduated in June from the J-school and we’ll have him writing for us as long as he likes.
Dan Hirsch has lived in the Mission since graduating from Stanford in 2009. He worked for Google News for a while and left to pursue writing gigs. He too started as a volunteer and has since become staff. Lately he’s developing into an on-camera host/ham for Mission Eyes, produced by Laura Wenus.
Alison Le Roy, our Business Development Director, is now in her second stay in the Mission. She has a background in software sales marketing.
George Lipp has lived in the Mission since the 1990s. He’s a devotee of Mission stories and life and has been volunteering since he first found Mission Local on the Internet.
Sandra Salmans, an editor from afar, lives in New York and offered to help edit for little in exchange. She’s a wonderful, funny writer and she believes in journalism. We met at the NYT in the 80s. A couple of years ago she contributed Mission Local’s first fiction series – Love in the Middle Ages.
Andrea Valencia, reporter and translator, moved to the Mission from Mexico in the spring of 2009 and she has been working here ever since. She’s the daughter of two conceptual artists and although her first love is language and how it is used, she definitely has the art gene.
Cristiano Valli, our technical go-to volunteer, also lives in the Mission. When he’s not reporting for an Italian radio station, he’s making improvements on our site. Previously he worked in Italy, where he was involved with one of the most successful community radio stations.
Laura Wenus returned from New York in spring after graduating from college, and sent an e-mail offering to volunteer. We haven’t let her leave.
A bevy of others help out: Claudia Escobar, Claire Weissbluth, Molly Oleson, and Helene Goupil, as well as those intrepid photographers who send us snaps, including Fidel Dolorier and Kathleen Narruhun, and a long list of readers who send us tips but would rather remain anonymous.
You can find links to our stories on SFGate’s In the Mission blog (story excerpts.) You can connect with Mission Local on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.
All contributor content is reviewed for accuracy and edited by a Mission Local editor before it is published.
We were named one of the Best Local Blogs of the Bay Area by CBS Local in 2014.
Streetfightmag.com Mission Local: A Hyperlocal Does it Right, By Alex Salkever, September 9, 2011.
The New York Times and the Bay Citizen, Hispanics Rank High on Digital Divide By Scott James, June 17, 2011.
Mission Loc@l Wins First Place for On Line News Writing in Region 11 and Mission Loc@l reporter JJ Barrow wins second place for on line feature writing for Region 11. 2010.
Mission Loc@l is national finalist for On Line News Writing. 2010.
San Francisco Magazine mentions Misson Loc@l, November 2010.
KQED on Mission Loc@l August 2, 2009.
Mission Loc@l Picks up a Webby Award Summer, 2009.
Submit Stories, complaints, tips, and ideas to missionlocal [at] gmail.com, or call us at 415-374-7329.
Please keep in touch! Our office is at 2588 Mission Street, 212, SF. CA. 94110— The staff of Mission Local.