At Fresnoland, we don’t believe that all reporters are (or even could be) objective. Everyone’s perspectives are informed by their own life experiences. We strive to be fair, independent, transparent, and aware of how journalism can help balance (or perpetuate) historic imbalances in power. Our commitment to our community is to be transparent about where we’re coming from and why we make the decisions we do about our reporting.

In 2021, we sat down with our team and board to develop our core values as an organization. This is where we’ve landed, for now.

Consistent listening and reporting with the community

We believe journalism is at its best when it starts by listening to the questions that community members have. From our very beginning, we began by sitting around a dining room table with friends and neighbors, asking what they’d like to see out of Fresnoland, what issues they want to see covered, and how we build an organization that helps people imagine a better and more equitable world for all in the central San Joaquin Valley.

Of course, like everyone else, the pandemic changed how we could interact with the community. We’ve put out dozens of online surveys, answered over a hundred community questions in our resource guides, and hosted online forums to build shared understanding on water, tenants rights, and police reform. Last year, many people shared with us that they’d like to see more air quality and climate reporting – and we’ve responded this year with more stories than ever.

Now that we’re able to see people in real life again, we hope to see you all again at a community event and find more ways to make sure our journalism is responding to the needs of all residents.

Not just diversity or equity, but inclusion

We want to build a newsroom and team that is truly reflective of the diversity of cultures and backgrounds of residents across the central San Joaquin Valley.

For us, this goes beyond who we hire: we are also committed to making sure that the stories we report on don’t just highlight the negative experiences or impacts of policy on historically marginalized communities, but that our stories help our community combat stereotypes and portray more of the depth and breadth of experiences that diverse communities have.

Through the Documenters program, we are also committed to training and paying more community members to be involved in the process of bringing transparency and accountability to public agencies.

Context, depth, and accountability

At Fresnoland, our goal is to help residents gain the information they need to make better decisions, from renting an apartment to advocating for their neighborhood to selecting who to vote for at the ballot box. To that end, we strive to make sure our reporting includes in-depth analysis, historical context, and shows residents how different policies impact their lives – and what they can do about it.

On the issues we report on

We often say that while we don’t have an agenda, we do have values. We think it’s important to be transparent about what guides our decisions on how we report on an issue, from water to air quality to housing. This is what matters to us:

  • Clean, safe, affordable water for all
  • Quality and affordable housing for all
  • Clean air
  • Access to healthy food
  • Self-determination and dignity
  • A world without a racial wealth gap