Illustration by Lola Noguer

We have great news … again.

Report for America announced this week that Mission Local is one of 150 newsrooms awarded a $25,000 grant toward hiring an additional beat reporter. While Report for America selected 70 new newsrooms this year, it also went back to the previous year’s recipients, like Mission Local, to add another reporter. That’s a great compliment to the training we do here.  

And, while this is splendid news, it also means we must raise enough money to cover the reporter’s salary and health benefits. Since we met our NewsMatch goal early, raising $61,463 in November (thank you!), including our match money, we have decided to use the rest of December to take advantage of end-of-the-year giving and extend that goal to cover our Report for America reporter. Already we are at $64,456 and our goal is to reach $100,000.

We can do this if you, our loyal readers, pitch in.. 

The Math

Some 150,000 to 200,000  different readers come to Mission Local each month.  Many of you  — 12,000 a month — are loyal readers who visit our site more than five times a month. Yet, so far this year, only 1,500 have donated.  If each loyal reader gave just $5 a month, we would be sustainable. That’s less than $1 per visit.

Here’s how we use the Report for America funds:

Annika Hom, our first Report for America reporter, is in her second year with us. A South Bay native, she started here straight out of Emerson College in Boston and has been a tremendous addition, jumping into the Covid-19 coverage and now focusing on housing and development.  

For our next Report for America reporter, we are looking for someone to cover the gig economy: A beat that includes covering founders, drivers and delivery workers. Our new gig reporter will come from Report for America’s open application process. We look for smart, curious journalists. Apply here.

And, if you’re interested in supporting that reporter and/or Mission Local’s coverage, donate here.


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Founder/Executive Editor. 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 and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

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  1. Lydia,

    As you know, y’all are my favorite site.

    I feel like you’re my neighborhood paper which you are and we are in Mayberry which we aren’t.

    Your growing success makes me feel a part of all this great writing and energy.

    Go Niners!