WILLITS, 1/5/21 — Another year is past and a new one’s beginning, and what a year it was! We haven’t been in the tradition of doing an annual news round-up in our short history as a news outlet so far, and if we were to try one for 2020, it would be hard to know where to start: 2020 has taken us from winter floods to a heated primary election where we held parties (remember those?), to a pandemic and subsequent shut-down and now vaccines; from a drought to California’s first million acre wildfire on record, from demonstrations to Zoom candidate forums to a presidential election and a new board of supervisors, and much, much, more.
Here at The Mendocino Voice, we published over 700 articles, and tried our best to keep up with all the news, respond to your questions and fact-check rumors (not easy in 2020, but we’ve had some practice), expanded our staff, and developed our plans to become a community-owned news outlet in 2021.
We quietly celebrated our fourth birthday in September, but there was so much going on, including a pandemic, that we decided to put any future dreams of parties for our readers on hold (for now). We hired a new environment and natural resources reporter, Lana Cohen, thanks to a collaboration with KZYX and with support from Report For America and The Community Foundation of Mendocino County.
We also spent several wonderful months with our excellent intern Miguel Gracia-Zhang, contributing writers Frank Hartzell and Mary Rose Kaczorowski, and had invaluable assistance from our wonderful membership coordinator Olivia Henry, who helped many of our readers become navigate our new system and become new supporting members (you can join here).
In the coming year, we are plan to bring you even more useful coverage of Mendocino County, and we’re so thankful for all our our supporters, readers, and local business partners, who have made all the craziness of this year worth it, and allowed us to build a sustainable local news outlet to serve our community. Thanks to your support, we’ll be announcing some exciting news this year about how you can participate in providing even more coverage to our communities. We’re also planning to expand our staff and contributors, so if you’re interested in joining our team, get in touch — we’ll be announcing more details in the coming weeks.
Also, we want to hear from you — what stories did we miss? How do you want to get your news? What kinds of coverage do you want to see more of? What questions do you have about your community? We’ll be sending out a formal survey soon, so please let us know how we can better serve you in the years ahead,
Here’s to 2021,
Kate B. Maxwell, publisher
A.F. Baumann, editor