So much has happened at Mission Loc@l.

First off, we’ve started posting links to our stories on SF Gate’s hyper-local page In the Mission. This is one of several collaborations we will try over the next couple of months.

Others to come: If details can be worked out we’ll produce a print insert for El Tecolote, a Mission newspaper for 39 years, and we’ll share video with El Mensajero and maybe VidSF, but all of the above are just possibilities.

Collaboration and experimentation is what we are about.  Old media, new media, stamping our logo on paper bags for taquerias, hanging posters, handing out flyers, selling t-shirts and having meet-ups in the neighborhood—we’ll try it all.

We’ve been inspired by Mission Loc@l’s growth and the viewing habits of our visitors.

The data on what you go to and for how long, upends the popular wisdom that on-line readers want gossip, rumor or dumbed-down content.   Mission Loc@l’s viewers stay with involved, complex stories; you are hungry for news about the budget, the economy, land use and the trends and changes along the Mission commercial corridors.

The controversies over American Apparel moving to Valencia Street and the taco truck parking behind John O’Connell High School animated interest in storefront vacancies, nutrition and food trends.

The McDonald’s many in the Mission walk by every-day—some with noses in the air—became a different place in many minds after reading Armand Emamdjomeh’s piece on how its interior social culture mirrors that of a Mexican plaza. “I will never look at that place the same again,” said one Mission reader who fought against McDonald’s opening in the 1970s.

Many readers have said our coverage catches them off-guard and tells them things about their neighborhood they were unaware of–the soccer mom’s at Garfield Park and the worlds of Mission youth discovered by Betty Bastidas, the ups and downs of local businesses on Mission Street revealed by Rigoberto Hernandez and the inner world of Bernal Dwellings sketched by Amanda Martinez.

Shalwah Evans  California lottery, some said, showed how the  personal and public collide and few reporters have covered the process of a public art project so thoroughly as Stefania Rousselle has followed the Valencia Street improvement project. Maybe more of the pubic will attend those public meetings.

We’ve tried to make the archives easier to trove by adding TOPICS to the top navigation bar and we’ll do more of this in the future.

As the three reporters who picked up Mission Loc@l’s Webby Award in New York said in their five-word acceptance speech, “Thank you, journalism lives on.”

One of the most rewarding experiences of summer has been working with high school and junior college students.  Led by Betty Bastidas, the entire ML summer staff– Armand Emamdjomeh, Shalwah Evans, Rigoberto Hernandez, Amanda Martinez, Stefania Rousselle,  and Andrea Valencia – have reached out to train young visitors.

It’s been rewarding to watch them give generously of their time and fulfill their heavy reporting responsibilities.

The endeavor has brought such great energy to the office that mentoring youth will be part of working at Mission Loc@l.   We plan on-going collaborations with high schools in the fall, and we are writing grants to fund that effort.

Donors Beware!  This is not a way to cover the community on the cheap, it’s a way to contribute to the community.

Below are some pictures from the summer and a promise: I will become a better photographer.

Lydia Chávez

I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born...

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