BenitoLink Content Manager, Nicholas Preciado recently left his position with us and started up at his new job with San Jose Spotlight. His new employer is also a nonprofit news website and it focuses on the San Jose government and politics. It is a big move and for BenitoLink with our small staff, changes can be painful. But as the person who hired Nick almost four years ago and watched him become very competent as Content Manager, it is personally satisfying to see him get this opportunity.
When Nick met with me at Mars Hill Coffee House, I explained to Nick that BenitoLink is an experiment in community-supported news, and that I thought it had a future. I said that despite the challenges, we’re having fun, people depend on us and we have a growing pool of locals who care enough about being informed to contribute to BenitoLink.
Without having a full picture yet of what local nonprofit news means, Nick decided to join the team. Together, over the next few years, we held several large public Election Forums and Town Halls, hosted a Tequila Tasting, Contributor Nights, a Dia de Los Muertos Celebration, annual Supporter Thank You Nights, staff retreats, and even printed a couple of Spanish Language newsletters which we delivered to local markets.
As a new Content Manager with reporting experience, Nick grew with BenitoLink and pushed his job description to its outer limits. He had a positive attitude and could keep all the reporters organized. By the time COVID arrived, he was fully prepared to handle double the story output and serve a community with a huge appetite for information. Thanks to his and the team’s hard work, our reading audience moved up from 30,000 monthly readers to 60,000, even reaching over 100,000 at the peak of COVID.
One day, Nick and I were in the office and he told me that as a journalist he figured he’d never own a home. That was discouraging. It bothered me that he didn’t see much financial opportunity out ahead. So, a few months ago I had a chance to do something about it. When I read an email from San Jose Spotlight Executive Director, Ramona Giwargis about a fantastic job opening, I mentioned it to Nick. BenitoLink and SJ Spotlight are both members of INN, the Institute for Nonprofit News, and as fellow local news providers, we have gotten to know each other as fellow Bay Area nonprofits. I told him the job paid much more than we can offer, and he should try for it.
The next thing you know-. Nick got the job! For us, his professional move is both exciting and a little daunting because it leaves a big hole in our team that we need to fill (any content coordinators out there?). Thankfully, Noe Magaña, Alex Esquivel, John Chadwell and Carmel De Bertaut and the whole reporting team are doing their best to keep the news coming your way. It always takes a little time to get back in sync, but it is so rewarding to see Nicholas Preciado take on so many challenges and then get an opportunity like this.
Good luck from all of us, Nick!
BenitoLink is a nonprofit news website that reports on San Benito County. Our team is working around the clock during this time when accurate information is essential. It is expensive to produce local news and community support is what keeps the news flowing. Please consider supporting BenitoLink, San Benito County’s news.