Editor’s Note: The Campaign for Real Reporting

Editor’s Note: The Campaign for Real Reporting

Michele Ellson

‘Tis the season for us to take a little break, so The Alamedan will be signing off for the rest of the year and returning on January 2. But before we go, we’d like to thank every reader, commenter and contributor who supported us this year – and to let you know what we’ve been able to accomplish with your help and what we’re planning for 2013.

For the crew at The Alamedan, it’s been an amazing year. More than 25,000 of you stopped by to pore over our election coverage, which included exclusive video of the candidates and up-to-the-minute details on every dollar they raised and spent; for coverage of your schools that no other local media outlet is providing; for every development on the development efforts at Alameda Point and points all over Alameda; and to get both the latest breaking Island news and the breakdown on what it means to you.

We even hosted our first event: An Election Party that drew a veritable who’s who of Alameda politics.

For 2013, we’ll be drilling deeper into the topics that matter to you most, with more focused coverage of local development and deeper schools reporting at the top of the list, and we’ll be seeking a fresh chorus of community voices to add to the site. We’ll also be reaching out to connect more through social media online and in-person events.

We’ll also be looking for ways to take advantage of our online platform by adding data, maps and other tools that allow us to add fresh dimension to our stories and to give you a deeper understanding of the events that impact your life.

Our mission is simple: To tell you what’s going on in your community and its institutions and to help you understand it so that you have the tools to fully participate. But we’re seeking to undertake it during what could be the most challenging time the news business has ever faced. As we told you on our first day, some 84 percent of the newsroom jobs that existed here in the East Bay in 2000 were gone by 2010, according to one study, and the daily newspaper is slowly becoming a thing of the past.

Because we think it’s critical that the public have access to the information we’re collecting, we decided early on to become a nonprofit providing access to information for all instead of making it accessible only to the people who pay for it. That said, reporting – showing up for meetings, making phone calls and digging up documents – entails a lot of effort. And that costs money.

If just 200 of our readers contribute $50 each, our freelance budget for 2013 is covered. Another $1,000 will buy us a short-term investigative project and $5,000, a bigger one.

If you value what we do, we hope you’ll consider supporting us by making a contribution today. And there are other ways you can help. If you’re an expert on something you think people need to know more about, we’d love it if you’d consider pitching in as a blogger and assisting in our efforts to tell the story of Alameda and to help our readers better understand all the issues that affect them.

Thank you for the privilege of providing this service and feel free to leave your comments and suggestions, either in the comment box below or by e-mailing me at michele@thealamedan.org. We hope you have a wonderful holiday and look forward to telling you more of what you need to know in the new year.