The Alamedan's $20,000 Challenge: Meet Donna Eyestone

The Alamedan's $20,000 Challenge: Meet Donna Eyestone

Michele Ellson

Video by Donna Eyestone.

Meet Donna Eyestone. Donna is the woman behind the camera capturing school board meetings live so that you can follow along at home, and for the short videos that have accompanied stories like our special report on the dangers children face on their walk to school. And her work is a key piece of our plan to make The Alamedan a bigger, better news source for readers like you.

More people are getting their news online than ever before, and we’ve responded by creating a website that offers you accurate, authoritative information about your community and its civic affairs. Providing visual elements – photos, graphics, maps and videos – is an increasingly important part of that equation, so we’re increasing their presence on the site.

Prior to launching The Alamedan, I had known Donna as the lady whose fantastic gingerbread creations captured a different local landmark during the holidays each year, and last May I contacted her with the hope of luring her to our new site as a blogger. During what turned into a two-hour coffee, we instead hashed out a plan to bring school board meetings that weren’t being held under the watchful eye of City Hall’s cameras live to interested viewers, and a partnership was born.

Over the last nine months, Donna’s camera has streamed more than a half-dozen school board meetings into local living rooms, including our first-ever live meeting video right here on the site. She’s also captured cultural events like the Plein Air Paintout and Concerts and the Cove and breaking news events like the Nob Hill strike, a recent teacher contract rally at City Hall and a talk by the crew at Artemis Racing.

Over the months to come we’ll be working to incorporate more video into our stories (and to keep bringing you those school board meetings as the school district works to get its own live video in place). But we’ll need your help to make that happen. Last month we launched our $20,000 Challenge, which if met would allow us to pay for an additional news story or video every weekday. If you value what we’re doing and would like to see more of it, we hope you’ll consider supporting our work with a contribution.

Contributions can be made online or by sending a check care of our fiscal sponsor, Community Initiatives (with Alameda Community News Project in the register), 354 Pine Street Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104. For your contribution you’ll get more news and our thanks, along with an Alamedan T-shirt if you give $100 or more.

Thanks, as always, for reading, and feel free to send your comments and suggestions to