You Spoke … We Listened!

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BenitoLink is a nonprofit news website serving the residents of San Benito County.

Mission: BenitoLink connects San Benito County residents through local news and information, encouraging public dialogue to foster an engaged community.

Vision: BenitoLink is the trusted source for news and information about San Benito County.  As a community supported organization, BenitoLink is the voice for all county residents.

BenitoLink story

BenitoLink was born out of a two-year visioning process which involved listening to nearly a thousand residents of San Benito County.

Members of the community cited the lack of local news and information as a major concern. With the help of the Community Foundation for San Benito County, private donors and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Vision San Benito, a small group developed BenitoLink, an on-line web portal created by San Benito residents for San Benito residents. BenitoLink is designed to include local news, events, sports, opinions and community discussion forums.

Grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Community Foundation for San Benito County were made available with the intention to support an open, communicative well-informed citizenry. Today, INN (Institute for Nonprofit News) also plays a major role, supporting our annual Pledge of Champions fall fundraising event.

BenitoLink has a board of local and regional residents, committees and advisors who run BenitoLink as a non-profit business. Interested community members are invited to sit in on committee or board meetings to learn more about BenitoLink. (To learn more, contact Lois Locci at

Editorial Independence Policy– BenitoLink retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.

Our organization may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.

Our organization will make public all donors who give a total of over $1,000 per year. We will accept anonymous donations for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization and in compliance with BenitoLink’s Ethical Standards.

Donor Transparency Policy– We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization.
Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept donations, grants and sponsorships from individuals, organizations and foundations to help with our general operations, coverage of specific topics, and special projects. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content.

We will make public all donors who give over $1000 per year. As a nonprofit, we will not accept donations from anonymous sources, government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates actively seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who, deemed by our board of directors, present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.

BenitoLink is free to read

Our goal is to keep BenitoLink free for our readers to enjoy. Realistically however, there are operating expenses and we need to generate sufficient revenue to break even. We currently are community-supported through Individual Donations, Sponsorships (where businesses can display their logo or graphic which clicks through to their website) Major Donors and Community Partners.

To Support BenitoLink, contact Leslie David-

BenitoLink Board of Directors:  President Rohit Sharma, Vice President Dave Wright, Secretary Lois Locci, Treasurer Heather Callens, and members Chang So, Phil Esparza, Mike Graves, Kris Waller, and Shawn Herrera. The BenitoLink board meets monthly and strives to have a representative mix of members that reflect the variety and character of San Benito County residents. Please feel free to contact a BenitoLink team member or board member and learn more about contributing your time and skills to local nonprofit news.  Nonprofit groups and local organizations can make arrangements and attend an Open Editorial.

Rohit Sharma-     Lois Locci-

Open Editorials: BenitoLink hosts a quarterly “Open Editorial” where members of the public or nonprofits are invited to provide story ideas, give feedback and take part in community-based news. Open Editorial helps fulfill our mission to be an open, community-based news publisher for San Benito County residents. All residents, assuming they are civil and respectful in their communication, are welcome to Open Editorials (see Terms of Use). We do ask that you notify us ahead of time so that we have can manage the working group size for each session.  If you are interested in attending, contact Heather Callens (

BenitoLink guest speakers- BenitoLink team members make themselves available to community groups and are always willing to explain the inspiration behind our local nonprofit news and what BenitoLink is all about. Contact Lois Locci ( .

BenitoLink Advisors: BenitoLink board advisors serve the community by voluntarily making themselves available from time to time by providing advice related to their professional knowledge and experience.

Volunteers: The BenitoLink team appreciates volunteers and committee members. Contact Rohit Sharma to learn about BenitoLink committees Contact Leslie David- if you are interested in contributing a few hours for special events or specific tasks.

Content Contributors: We invite community members, nonprofits and businesses to write for BenitoLink. We offer writers, photographers and artists, both young and old, the opportunity to contribute to BenitoLink to share stories and discuss current topics. Contributors agree to a Statement of Values that outline the site’s philosophy regarding content. It has been shown that communities benefit from respectful discussion on important community choices. Through Election forums and Town Hall gatherings, BenitoLink facilitates discussions and/or forums about the challenges and opportunities facing us today.

Professional level reporters and photographers who follow our journalism ethics policies can potentially be paid for their content.

Please contact Noe Magaña- to learn more about writing, photography and content production.

Please read our Terms of Use for more details on how to participate.

BenitoLink Production Team: 

To take part in BenitoLink as a supporter through business sponsorships, donations or grants, contact Leslie David  Executive Director  (

If you have  story ideas or topics that you would like to see reported on, contact our Acting Content Manager, ( For San Benito County stories contact Noe Magaña  For Hollister city government coverage, contact reporter John Chadwell (



BenitoLink helps enable and facilitate resident participation by providing a vital communication hub that contributes to the quality of life in our community. Community support is key to BenitoLink’s growth and continued service to San Benito County residents. We sincerely hope that you will find value in BenitoLink and support our ongoing mission to be inclusive, welcoming and known as a trusted news source.

Your news, your stories, your county. BenitoLink