What’s honest journalism like in Oakland?

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Before we launched The Oaklandside just over a year ago, we knew that as journalists working in a city that is often unjustifiably covered by the media, we had to make higher demands of ourselves. So rather than start reporting, we listened to Oakland residents what they want from journalism for Oakland.

Here’s what else is going on in Oakland:

People told us they wanted a newsroom that reflected the diversity and complexity of Oakland. They want us to share the microphone so the people we serve can tell their own stories and they asked us to work with other local storytellers, media makers and trusted sources for community information. In keeping these commitments accountable, we have developed mission metrics that we can use to track the impact of our reporting, including through direct feedback from the community.

We are not alone in this approach, but this is not traditionally how journalism works.

To find out how local and national news organizations can avoid the repetition of past mistakes, our editor-in-chief Tasneem Raja spoke to internationally recognized journalist (and former head of the KRON East Bay office) Soledad O’Brien and Maynard Institute director and former editor-in-chief of Oakland Tribune Martin Reynolds. All three tell compelling stories from editorial offices that were about a community, but not necessarily for that community.

The video recording of this conversation (above) was first streamed on June 15, 2021 as part of The Oaklandside’s one-year anniversary live-ish event, a three-day celebration of our newsroom’s first year with community chats and short documentaries, panel discussions and musical performances by local artists.

Blue Shield is the presenting sponsor of Live-ish.

Before you go…

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