A news organization you can trust

Our main goal is to provide valuable, sometimes vital, information to the residents of San Benito County.

9 reasons to support local news from your nonprofit: Reason 8

BenitoLink is a non-profit information service created to serve its community. Our main goal is to provide valuable, sometimes vital, information to the residents of San Benito County. We want to be your trusted source of information and plan to be there for the long haul. You can help make this happen by supporting us.

Local news is the most reliable news in America today. Why? We think it’s because we live here and have established relationships with our community. Our reputation is at stake. We have built trust and we value the relationships we have.

Members of the BenitoLink team focus on these key methods to maintain the trust of our readers.

Be open about our news process. Members of the BenitoLink team make themselves available to answer questions about our reports. We answer phone calls and emails, we listen to other points of view. We respond quickly when corrections or revisions need to be made.

Keep the news based on facts. BenitoLink journalists keep their personal opinions out of reporting. We have a clear line separating our news articles and the COMMUNITY OPINION section. All opinion pieces are clearly labeled. BenitoLink does not take any editorial position and does not support candidates. BenitoLink does not accept advertising campaigns.

Be authentic. As a local press team, we live here, we raise our families here and we are committed to our community. News gathering is a two-way street. Our reporters treat interviewees with respect. In return, the audience gains confidence in us and allows us to help them tell their story. BenitoLink staff make the most of face-to-face interactions in order to build real relationships.

Support precision. Professional journalism requires accuracy, research and line-by-line review of articles. It means check and edit and check again. However, sometimes we omit important information or get the facts wrong. In some cases, publicly funded agencies do not respond to calls or emails or respond to Freedom of Information Act requests, which they are required to do by law. Open communication and transparency help the public to better understand local issues.

Admit mistakes. Journalists are human too. Although we try to minimize errors, information can be misunderstood, mathematical errors can be made, and time constraints can sometimes lead to errors. BenitoLink staff and journalists accept our mistakes and acknowledge them to our readers.

Larry Slonaker, retired Mercury News writer and reporter. Photo by Leslie David.

This fall, BenitoLink staff, team of journalists and interns received ethics training, working with retired Mercury News reporter Larry Slonaker. As a veteran city news writer and reporter, Slonaker has over 25 years of first-person experiences to share with our newsroom.

BenitoLink’s Content Manager, Noe Magaña, said afterwards: “I thought it was really good. Specifically, I liked the way he shared situations and asked us, “What would you do? “

Magaña also liked what Slonaker said about identifying when a story is a story.

“I thought it was something any newspaper company could use. I especially appreciate the way he reminded us to keep our opinions out of history, because I think that lesson has been lost in recent years, ”said journalist Jenny Mendolla Arbizu.

Our trainee reporters heard several concrete examples of reporters overstepping the line in terms of professional behavior.

The BenitoLink team listens to the ethics discussion with Larry Slonaker. Photo by Leslie David.

As journalists, we are faced with ethical decisions on a daily basis. As the primary source of information for county residents, we know we have a lot of responsibilities and we want to earn your trust.

BenitoLink is fortunate to have the support and guidance of the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Poynter Institute and the Trusting News Project. As a non-profit association, we are currently undergoing training with the Journalists Committee for Press Freedom. Starting in January, staff and journalists will start learning more about journalism law through online training.

Citizens play a role in the quality of reporting and news gathering that occurs in their communities. Financial support, whether it’s monthly payments or one-time donations, makes a crucial difference in the end product you read. Finally, involvement as a volunteer, board member, intern or simply attending BenitoLink events in person are opportunities for all of us to form meaningful relationships.

We count on your year-end support and monthly subscriptions to keep our journalists and staff active so that we can provide this important public service.

Support the local San Benito County nonprofit news organization by donating to BenitoLink.

Virginia S. Braud