9 reasons to support local your local nonprofit news: Reason 7
The BenitoLink editorial team regularly attends local government meetings and for the last nine years has kept its commitment to the residents of San Benito to cover our public officials and elected leaders. This could sound unremarkable, but it is not. It is expensive to have reporters cover these meetings week after week, year after year. Furthermore, we have expanded to offer candidate profiles, Town Halls and Election Forums, as well as social events. Your donations help cover these costs and your support is essential to continuing these public services.
Journalism is not typically a high paying profession but following meetings and writing are both labor intensive. You can estimate that just one daily news story can cost between $50 and $100. So, with BenitoLink publishing about three fresh stories a day, reporting costs can quickly add up. For example, $300 a day times 365 days a year equals $109,500. Your donation affects the number and quality of stories we publish.
In 2012, when BenitoLink was created, news media no longer attended the County Supervisors and City Councils on a regular basis. City and County planning departments, school boards, the Council on Governments and many other decision-making bodies were operating with no public scrutiny. This concerned residents greatly and created much of the impetus to rebuild local news. The decisions made by government boards and boards of publicly funded agencies affect your quality of life and your pocketbook. The Community Foundation for San Benito County, private local funders and a substantial grant from the Knight Foundation allowed community members to create BenitoLink. Reestablishing local government reporting was top on our list.
In person events are an important part of BenitoLink because they help all of us build real relationships with each other. Now, nine years later, we have proven our commitment to civic engagement, expanding our coverage topics, interviewing candidates and hosting nonpartisan events to give you the information you need prior to elections.
In 2021, we:
- Published over 1,000 stories
- Featured local elected officials, civic leaders and community members in both virtual and in-person events
- Offered free access to candidate forums, viewed by hundreds of residents
- Helped tens of thousands of readers better understand San Benito County politics and policy issues—and their impact
BenitoLink is committed to giving county residents the opportunity to make up their own mind on candidates and election issues. That is why BenitoLink joined the San Benito County Farm Bureau in hosting nonpartisan forums in 2016. Since then, forum audiences have grown from 40 to over 200. Readers, regardless of their party affiliation or personal beliefs are invited to express their views in our Community Opinion section.
As a mission-driven nonprofit newsroom, it’s our honor to do this work but this could not have happened without our donors and sponsors. Election forums and other BenitoLink events build community. They are meant to make you better informed, so that you can make important choices about the future of your home. Your donations enable us to provide these services.