2010 was a great year for Oakland North, and we want to thank you for your support and readership in a year of enormous growth and new challenges.
We started off in the fall of 2008 as an experimental hyperlocal news web site with few hard and fast rules about how to cover local news online, but with a clear mission: To provide cutting-edge digital journalism to Oakland’s community. (You can read more about our mission, funding and news team — based out of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism — on our “about” page.) A little more than two years (and three site redesigns) later, we’ve grown enormously, and we have our reading community to thank. You’ve sent us tips, offered us comments and suggestions, helped us put together community recipe and photo projects, and let us know when we’ve goofed. And most of all, you’ve been incredibly loyal readers — and have spread the word to other loyal readers. We want to thank you being such an active, informed community and let you know how much your participation means to us!
2010 was definitely a year of firsts and launches for Oakland North, all of it geared at getting to know you better and finding new ways to bring local news to you. We launched our audio podcast series Oakland North Radio; you can listen on our ON Radio page or subscribe via iTunes. We started our “You Tell Us” op-ed essay page and readers have sent in thoughtful, impassioned essays on everything from bike safety to police funding. You’ve also sent us recipes for the Community Cookbook project and photos for special series like our Earth Day and Halloween features, not to mention the weekly Community Photo. Plus, thanks to our friends at Oakland Animal Services, we can now highlight one very special animal up for adoption each week.
We got to know you better on our new Facebook fan page (Hi, all 2,000 of you!) and we added threaded comments to Oakland North to make it easier for commenters to carry on conversations with each other. To make our stories available to a broader community, we partnered with the San Francisco Chronicle‘s SFGate.com site, contributing teasers of each of our stories to the “In Oakland” blog, and partnered with the non-profit Bay Citizen, which hosts selected Oakland North stories here. And just in case you didn’t see it yet way up there by the Oakland tree, we added a Yahoo! Weather feature with local forecasting, so you’ll always know whether you need an umbrella when you’re out around town.
And most of all, we reported and reported and reported! From extensively-researched features like Mary Flynn’s ridealong with the Oakland Police Department’s undercover unit that works to get underage prostitutes off the street, to comprehensive coverage of the 2010 election coverage, California’s education budget crisis and the state’s flirtation with recreational marijuana legalization, to live-Tweeting breaking news and local meetings, we’ve been there with pens, cameras and microphones in hand. We also tried a few new ways of presenting information, like the 24 Hours in Oakland photodocumentary project, the Oakland Budget Fix interactive project, and of course our highly scientific transportation experiment, the Race to the Airport.
As we go forward into 2011, we’ll keep working to bring you local news that matters. We hope you’ll keep stopping by and you’ll stay in touch. We’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you & Happy New Year!
Your friends at Oakland North