Journalism provides local citizens the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, their governments and their shared civic and cultural life.
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We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion as we help raise the next generation of journalists through internships, mentoring, and hiring. We will maintain a staff that reflects the diversity of our community and therefore empowers and encourages engagement of everyone in our community. We will proactively report the news and comprehensively tell all of our stories with a diversity of voices.
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We define ourselves by strength, fortitude and determination.
Dear Friends of SoCoNews,
We are delighted to tell you, and you may have heard, that the 157-year-old Healdsburg Tribune has not stopped printing after all.
Yes, it's true that our April 28 edition ran a banner headline, “Stop the presses: Tribune’s final edition,” over a story that recounted the newspaper’s history and bade farewell to its readership.
But that prompted Dan Pulcrano, CEO of Weeklys which owns 15 Northern California publications, to offer to buy our publishing business and continue printing a weekly Healdsburg Tribune.
Working in good faith and at top speed, we completed the transaction in less than a week. And last week the banner headline on the Healdsburg Tribune said, “The Tribune will continue – after all.”
“We are surprised, gratified and a little astonished,” said Nancy Dobbs, president of our board of directors. “Dan came forward as we were calling it quits, saying goodbye to our reporting staff and telling the community we were walking away from print.”
“We didn’t want to see a treasured newspaper lost,” said Pulcrano. “Residents here have worked hard to maintain community journalism and we intend to give the community a voice and local information every week.”
“With this transfer of ownership, we can rest assured that the Tribune is in experienced hands,” Dobbs said. “We are celebrating this opportunity to see a printed newspaper continue to serve the community. We are grateful to all who helped us hang on long enough for this miracle to occur.”
And yes, let’s be clear. This could not have happened without your support.
Your contribution has kept the Tribune and its sister publications in Sebastopol, Windsor and Cloverdale alive through years of tremendous retraction in the industry, as advertising fled from community newspapers to Craig's List, Google and Facebook, and then through two pandemic years when local businesses struggled to survive at all.
Fighting to stay open, former owner Sonoma West Publishers raised $400,000 from local supporters in 2018-2019 through a direct public offering (DPO). In 2020 our community formed the nonprofit Sonoma County Local News Initiative to acquire the papers and add tax-deductible donations to the revenue stream. That acquisition was completed in September, and you responded with generous donations to keep the publications on their feet.
To our DPO shareholders and donors, thank you. You’re the reason we have been able to keep our publications alive while towns throughout the nation are losing theirs.
But it wasn’t enough. In April we announced that we would have to stop publishing the Tribune and our three email newsletters for Sebastopol, Windsor and Cloverdale for a few months while we seek a more sustainable way forward for local news.
We'd love to hear from you
While the print Tribune continues with the purchase by Weeklys, we would love to hear from you about expanding the availability of news. We believe robust online news and commentary has a place in today's strong and healthy communities. Do you agree?
Tell us your ideas about how local news can thrive in the 21st century. Send those ideas to Nancy Dobbs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pulcrano, who founded his first newspaper in 1982, has also said he’d like to work with us this fall to help explore and establish sustainable models for news in our communities, perhaps as a model for others.
Again, thanks so much for your support, which continues to keep the news alive, and for your thoughts and input as we work to re-imagine how local news and journalism can best serve our communities.
Board of Directors
Sonoma County Local News Initiative