Local news is a treasure

Being informed broadens community representation, helps fill government positions and keeps our democracy effective.

The Knight Foundation is helping newsrooms like BenitoLink all across America. According to the foundation, a healthy local news climate affects civic life and democracy itself. In a recent report, Knight stated that when journalists stop reporting on what is going on in our towns, “fewer people run for office, and fewer people vote and become involved in their communities.” 

So being informed broadens community representation, helps fill government positions and keeps our democracy effective. BenitoLink, your local nonprofit news site, informs voters before elections and watches our government leaders once they are elected to office. Donations from community members like you help make sure this kind of reporting—reporting for the public good—continues here in San Benito County.

Organizations including the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Democracy Fund help nonprofit and public service news succeed. INN is matching Pledge of Champions donations now through Dec. 31. Your donations will be doubled up to $1,000 per individual during Pledge of Champions, BenitoLink’s largest annual fundraising event.

Despite significant support from foundations that care about communities like ours, it also takes support from you, our readers, to keep San Benito County news strong. While BenitoLink is free to all readers, it’s your financial commitment to an informed community that keeps us on the job, producing news for everyone. Sending reporters to meetings is an expensive commitment.

BenitoLink copy editor, Paul Hersh talks to reporters and summer interns about some of their feelings approaching an interview. Photo by Leslie David
BenitoLink copy editor Paul Hersh writes down feelings reporters and summer interns sometimes experience when approaching an interview. Photo by Leslie David.

A Knight/Gallup survey cited in a recent Knight Foundation report showed that more Americans think local news media present a more balanced perspective than national news. Why do readers hold this view?

In close-knit communities like ours, you know who your reporters are. BenitoLink reporters live, join clubs, go to work, pay taxes, volunteer and educate their kids in San Benito County. We are part of the community. Our news writers approach their assignments with an open mind, stay out of the story personally and recognize that part of a journalist’s responsibility is to present a variety of perspectives.

Photographer Robert Eiliason talks to interns and BenitoLink reporters about ways of improving story photos. Photo by Leslie David
Photographer Robert Eliason talks to BenitoLink interns and reporters during a workshop about ways to improve story photos. Photo by Leslie David.

In a small county like San Benito, residents can have direct communication with BenitoLink reporters and staff. We’re easy to reach—contact us from the BenitoLink home page. We build trust by being accessible, transparent, and being willing to admit and correct mistakes.

BenitoLink is a public service news site working for the residents of San Benito County. Contributing to BenitoLink keeps local news alive. Help us safeguard the treasure of a stimulating civic life and a healthy democracy. 



BenitoLink Staff