Editorial: A New Era in Local News

Stocktonia News Service plans to bring in-depth local news to Stockton.

As the board of trustees and dedicated volunteers work diligently to establish Stocktonia News Service, we strived to answer three important questions:

What is Stocktonia News Service? What do we hope to accomplish? Why do you need us in Stockton?

Beginning on June 1, we will provide those answers to you. Stocktonia News Service – or SNS – will fill the need for local news coverage in our city. Stockton is a big, diverse and complicated town, and this will not be an easy task. But a worthy mission is often difficult and exciting, and we welcome the challenge. And it’s important that you understand who we are.

Stockton, California from the air FILE PHOTO)

A nonprofit approach to news

Stocktonia is a nonprofit (501c3) news website dedicated to providing local news coverage in Stockton and the surrounding area. We will be supported by donations from our readers and local businesses and grants from interested institutions. Our primary focus as we begin operations will be local government, public safety, education, business and community events and people, We plan to publish stories every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, plus offer live coverage of special events and some breaking news. 

We are a proud member of the Institute For Nonprofit News, a group of more than 360 nonprofit news sites in 28 states and the District of Columbia. We take our inspiration from the success of so many of our sister sites. The surge in nonprofit news is tied directly to the steep decline in local coverage from legacy newspapers, creating “news deserts” around the country.

Stockton from the air, showing the Lower San Joaquin River. (IFILE PHOTO)

The University of North Carolina’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media addressed the local news crisis in a 2020 report, stating, “In the 15 years leading up to 2020, more than one-fourth of the country’s newspapers disappeared, leaving residents in thousands of communities – inner-city neighborhoods, suburban towns and rural villages – living in vast news deserts. Simultaneously, half of all local journalists disappeared, as round after round of layoffs have left many surviving papers – the gutsy dailies and weeklies that had won accolades and Pulitzer Prizes for their reporting – mere “ghosts,” or shells of their former selves.”

Stocktonia will take a more old-school approach to local news while using all the advantages of the modern media.

The stakes are high. In the face of diminishing legitimate news coverage, opinion-based websites, blogs, and social media channels have filled the void for some readers. It has blurred the line between sensationalized opinion and real journalism. Stocktonia will take a more old-school approach to local news while using all the advantages of the modern media.

Straight forward approach to news

A true local news organization trusts its readership. As a nonprofit, Stocktonia will not endorse political candidates or causes. We will strive to provide straight-forward information showing multifacted sides of the issues. Readers can come to their own conclusions. We are launching our site before the primaries on June 7, to signal our efforts to help inform our readers.

Stocktonia will not be a daily newspaper, and does not promise immediate coverage of every crime or car crash, although there may be select breaking-news stories and videos. The majority of our content will be “trend” journalism, concentrating on why issues are important, how situations developed and views on how to deal with issues. We will also cover the activities and accomplishments of the community, and strive to have a robust array of opinion pieces provided in a respectful manner.

It’s an admittedly tall order for a new site, and like any startup, we’ll have our triumphs and challenges. But Stockton is worth it, and we’ll use a diverse group of veteran writers and new journalists to provide the best coverage we can. The community is also an important part of the equation, and we will be counting on our fellow citizens for support.

We hope you join us on the journey.

Scott Linesburgh is the Executive Editor of Stocktonia. He can be reached at scott@stocktonia.org

Join the Conversation

22 Comments

  1. If you concentrate on Stockton & San Joaquin Co. than you have my vote. Unless I have some political aspirations, I do not need to know about Sacramento or D.C. unless it directly affects the common person on Stockton or San Joaquin Co. I am more concerned with local crime & local development than political BS.

  2. Outstanding Scott! It’s what Stockton needs for sure. I ran into Rick Brewer and he told me about the amazing project your launching. I wish you both the best of luck for total success!

  3. I am so proud of Scott and this team for all the hard work and planning necessary to launch this enterprise. Stockton deserves quality journalism from reporters who know the town. Bravo and good luck.

      1. Thanks. We’re trying. I’m just committed to other things right now, but I’d love to contribute eventually.

  4. Although I am no longer a resident of Stockton, I look forward to keeping up with what is going on there, as only Scott Linesburgh could tell it. You rock, bro!

  5. I am very much pleased to see a renewed effort to maintain real journalism in Stockton. Sensational opinion sites are, indeed, filling a vacuum created by legacy news organizations struggling to find new business models for the digital world. Such amateur news sites are mere tools for irresponsible rock throwers, and corrosive to our community. Welcome, Stocktonia!

  6. Excellent Scott! I would recommend Lori Gilbert and Pete Otteson for writers. They both have extensive local backgrounds, as you know! Let me know if I can help! Can’t wait for the next issue!

  7. Looking forward to your “paper”. I miss the Stockton Record when we actually got the news about our wonderful city.

  8. Outstanding! Many of us were hoping that journalists in the area would help fill the void left by The Record. We are counting on you to be the truth tellers in our city.

  9. Cheers to “a more old school approach to local news” and to this thoughtful and apparently well designed attempt to re-establish legitimate news coverage in Greater Stockton. Your test is as simple as it is complex: corruption in high places thrives where news coverage is anemic, and it’s all around us now. You are signing up to expose this evil, and I hope you are up to it. But I’m also a Yoda fan. Remember, “Try? Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” Godspeed Stocktonia.

  10. This is excellent news (so to speak). Best wishes for success with the new operation. Local news outlets are needed nationwide. Congratulations, Scott!

  11. The launch of a LOCAL news source makes me very happy and the involvement of so many local and trusted correspondents is a huge plus. No more reading local news with a USA Today byline!

  12. The articles that have already been posted are information and exceptional well reported. Such a step up!

  13. A hopeful sign for Stockton to see this undertaking. We need real local coverage and a paper that does not think election coverage begins on June 1st for the June 7th election. Looking forward to Fitzgerald.

  14. This is such good news, Scott! I will look forward to following your efforts because I know they will be high quality. Good luck!

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