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We are excited to announce the North Coast Journal was recently selected to be a host newsroom for the 2024 California Local News Fellowship, a state-funded initiative to invigorate local journalism, with a focus on underserved communities.

In September, we will welcome recent California State University at Los Angeles graduate Anne To, who also served as the most recent editor in chief of the school's University Times student newspaper, to our newsroom to begin a two-year fellowship reporting the news of the North Coast.

This is a great opportunity to also publicly welcome Kelby McIntosh into the fold here at the Journal, though you may have already seen his byline or heard his voice on local airwaves. A member of the fellowship's inaugural 2023 cohort, Kelby was placed with the Redwood Listening Post, a project of Access Humboldt, last fall and will be working with the Journal moving forward via an ongoing partnership.

McIntosh and To are two of 75 fellows now placed in newsrooms throughout the state as a part of the initiative run through the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. The effort was spearheaded by state Sen. Steve Glazer in 2022, when he secured $25 million in state funding to bolster local news coverage and invest in the development of early-career journalists. (Fun local note: Glazer, in a prior life, served as the spokesperson for Robin P. Arkley when former Eureka City Councilmember Larry Glass accused the local businessman of shoving him and threatening to destroy him if Glass didn't support Arkley's Marina Center project. Arkley, through Glazer, denied the allegations.) The public funds pay to administer the program, cover most of the fellows' salaries and provide them with training and mentorship, and will ultimately support approximately 200 years of reporting from 100 early-career journalists throughout the state over six years.

It's an almost impossibly good deal for a small newsroom like ours, allowing us to essentially double our in-house news reporting team — at least temporarily — at an affordable price.

"With a national crisis in local journalism upon us, every single one of these fellows and newsrooms is a sign of hope," California Local News Fellowship Director Christa Scharfenberg said in a press release announcing the 2024 cohort. "We're honored to support the next generation of journalists and help invigorate a national movement for robust local news."

Berkeley Journalism Dean Geeta Anand, who worked with Glazer to create the innovative program, said the initiative comes at a time when "the survival of local journalism hangs in the balance."

"Robust local reporting makes a difference for all that we hold dear: the education of our children, safety and dignity for vulnerable community members, the protection of our environment, and more," Anand said in the release.

We at the Journal are grateful to have been selected to host To as she spends two years getting to know and reporting on the people and issues of the North Coast. And we're grateful for the opportunity to work with McIntosh over the second year of his fellowship placement in Humboldt, helping him add print reporting skills to his background in radio.

Both of them will be doing in-depth reporting for the Journal, as well as some beat reporting in the Eel River Valley for the Ferndale Enterprise, which is also owned by North Coast Journal Inc. Consumers of regional news coverage may also notice new fellowship additions to the newsrooms of our neighbors at The Trinity Journal and The Mendocino Voice, and CalMatters, the nonprofit whose stories you'll see periodically in local publications, including our own.

We believe local reporting serves a vital role in our communities and we're excited to be a part of a statewide effort to build and sustain it.

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill (she/her) is the arts and features editor at the Journal. Reach her at (707) 442-1400, extension 320, or [email protected]. Thadeus Greenson (he/him) is the news editor at the Journal. Reach him at (707) 442-1400, extension 321, or [email protected].

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About The Authors

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill is the arts and features editor of the North Coast Journal. She won the Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s 2020 Best Food Writing Award and the 2019 California News Publisher's Association award for Best Writing.

Thadeus Greenson

Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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