Every day we seek the truth for you

As we open our Summer FUNdraiser, the BenitoLink team is very happy to announce a unique, matching opportunity to double your donations and make a bigger impact. Two generous community members have offered a $10,000 match—if you will donate and put it to use. 

This is a chance for you to show your commitment to community news too. 

Reporting takes patience and determination. Behind journalism is the reporter’s belief that the public deserves to know what is going on and where tax dollars are spent. Sadly, some publicly funded agencies do not feel they need to inform the public, or prefer not to reveal embarrassing mistakes or even dishonesty.

BenitoLink files public record requests frequently, but that does not mean publicly funded entities respond. When public organizations are not being managed well, we have to contact people and push for answers. This sometimes makes us unpopular, and we accept that. 

A few months ago BenitoLink focused on Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital, our only hospital, and its shaky financial position. When did they know their future was in doubt? Would admitting to problems earlier have helped? Probably. 

Of course, we all want our hospital to succeed. But when it shows signs of failing, BenitoLink is obligated to look at the leadership. Why did they spend over $1 million on another building? How do HHMH nurses’ salaries compare to other areas? Who makes decisions, and are the decision-makers qualified?  

Investigative reporting pairs up well with a positive style of in-depth reporting known as “solutions journalism.” This involves searching out other communities that may have found helpful answers. We looked at Watsonville, whose community hospital was also threatened with closure. The Watsonville community pulled together, received help from the state and saved its hospital. Are there lessons in this for San Benito County?

Investigative and in-depth reporting means seeking facts, digging into financial reports and asking uncomfortable questions. The problem is that all this is time consuming and expensive and that’s why we need your help.

Invest in investigation! Take advantage of BenitoLink’s Summer FUNdraiser Challenge: double your impact and keep investigative reporting in your local news.