Editor's note: Buy local (news)!

Editor's note: Buy local (news)!

Michele Ellson

Video by Donna Eyestone.

The Oakland A’s proposed move to San Jose has upset many East Bay sports fans. But the team’s hometown newspaper, the Oakland Tribune, has routinely featured the work of at least one San Jose-based sports columnist who seems to favor the move.

The Tribune is owned by MediaNews Group, the company that owns most of the newspapers in the Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. And local media-watchers have said they feel the latter paper, not writers in Oakland, have control of the Tribune’s editorial stance on where the A's should play.

The kerfuffle over the Trib’s decision to publish seemingly pro-San Jose columns offers a dramatic example of why it’s important for your news to be sourced locally, written and edited by someone who lives in your community. Local reporters and editors have an investment in the communities they cover that someone in a far-flung corporate office will not have – and we can control our coverage to ensure that it meets local needs to a degree that writers and editors working for corporate media giants can’t.

As a local nonprofit, our overriding mission is to give you the information you need to be an active and engaged member of this community – and as such, The Alamedan has prioritized news that we think will build the health of the community over stories that would serve solely to build the site's traffic. As such, we have kept you apprised of what’s going on at City Hall, shined a light on possible lapses in school safety and on ways they could be addressed, and offered you news, explanatory coverage and maps detailing development proposals that could change the face of the Island.

We think you like what we’re doing, because our readership tripled this year: As of December 22, nearly 80,000 people visited The Alamedan for news.

Last year I promised our readers that we’d provide more detailed schools and development coverage, and that we’d be expanding our social media outreach and our use of data, maps and other online tools. And I’m happy to report that we followed through on these promises.

We launched a major effort to answer your questions about future development at Alameda Point, and our schools coverage was recognized with a certificate of merit from the John Swett Awards for Media Excellence. We’ve expanded our use of video to include breaking news like the recent China National Day protest and feature takes on local people doing interesting things, like dreidel maker Stephanie Lipow, while our use of the infogr.am informational graphic tool was quickly copied by other organizations. And if you’re wondering where the city is planning to fix sidewalks this year or what’s being developed where – there’s a map for that.

Meanwhile, we’re making plans to connect with you more in person in 2014: We’ve got an Alameda Point meetup in the works for late January (stay tuned for details).

This year, we’re making plans for deeper coverage of local stories that will include the impact of recent court rulings on public workers’ pensions, restructuring plans for Will C. Wood Middle School, continuing efforts to redevelop Alameda Point and the struggles food stamp recipients may face in putting food on the table each day, along with a list of additional stories that is growing as we speak. But we need your help to follow through.

If you value the news and information The Alamedan serves up fresh every weekday, we hope you’ll consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help us keep it flowing. Supporting The Alamedan is easy: You can either contribute online or send a check to our fiscal sponsor, Community Initiatives (with Alameda Community News Project in the register), 354 Pine Street Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104. If you've got a company or business you can support The Alamedan by sponsoring us.

Thanks for reading and to everyone who has supported us this year. We’ll be taking our customary break over the holidays, coming back on January 6; we look forward to meeting your news needs in 2014. If you’ve got questions or suggestions, you can always e-mail me at michele@thealamedan.org.

Happy holidays from all of us at The Alamedan!