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Giving Newsday keeps your local nonprofit news alive and fair

BenitoLink has a unique editorial style designed to serve the public.
Social Media and Marketing Coordinator Laura Romero and Executive Director Leslie David. Staff photo.

Some might know the Tuesday following Thanksgiving as Giving Tuesday, but among nonprofit news organizations like BenitoLink it's called Giving Newsday.

Contributions made to BenitoLink on Giving Newsday and until the end of 2018 will be doubled thanks to the Pledge of Champions.

BenitoLink has a hybrid news style. We produce reports prepared by journalists and at the same time provide the public equal access to our San Benito County readers. This website was created specifically to serve and be supported by San Benito County residents.

In some ways, BenitoLink’s editorial style is a throwback to the days of the Fairness Doctrine (see more below). That’s because our editorial team works hard to give a fair and balanced approach. We ask our reporters to take on each story with an open mind, be inquisitive and not assume they already know everything.

At the same time, and this is what makes us a hybrid, we welcome community opinion and a free exchange of ideas through submitted articles, Community Opinion pieces, and comment threads for every story. This is not the norm. Traditionally, expression from the public is designated to the editorial page. But the BenitoLink team is interested in what citizens think. We value it, and that is why we invite community content.

As a nonprofit news organization, we rely on community support to stay in operation. BenitoLink is about public service above profit, and being publicly funded allows us to keep our ethical standards.

BenitoLink reporting harkens back to the Fairness Doctrine, an FCC rule controlling television and radio that was removed in the late 1980s.

“The fairness doctrine had two basic elements: It required broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters,” as stated on Wikipedia. The doctrine, which required reporters to research and offer contrasting viewpoints to the reader/viewer, ended in 1987. A Wikipedia article on the topic states, “The demise of this FCC rule has been considered by some to be a contributing factor for the rising level of party polarization in the United States[2][3]."

As a publicly-funded nonprofit news site, we strive to be transparent in who is writing content. Stories written by a trained (and paid) BenitoLink reporter will say “BenitoLink Staff Reporter” and the reporter’s bio is available on the website at the bottom of their respective articles. Submitted opinion articles can be identified by the headline COMMUNITY OPINION and a disclaimer prior to the article clarifying the opinion expressed is not the opinion of the nonprofit news site or its Board of Directors. Articles outside of opinions written by community members, nonprofits and other groups in San Benito County can be identified by the author's name under the article headline (known in journalism as a byline).

Businesses, nonprofits, groups and individuals can register on BenitoLink to write articles relating to the community and what they care about. As long as writers are upfront about who they are and open about any conflicts of interest, their work can be published. BenitoLink reviews all articles and ultimately has control over inappropriate or rude content. These rules are explained in our Terms of Use.

We are here for you, and if you have something to say let us know! Send an email to info@benitolink.com.

 

Current reading on the benefits of local journalism:

If this topic is of interest to you, you might enjoy this recently published article about how supporting local news helps beat back “fake news” and news that is advocating a strong perspective.

 

 

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