The Santa Barbara Foundation is pleased to announce the transition of Mission & State to Noozhawk, a local, community-based news organization. Through this collaboration, opportunities will be expanded for new media, providing a continued venue for quality, in-depth journalism in Santa Barbara.
Mission & State was created in 2013 with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and local donors and foundations. As part of a nationwide project, Mission & State was launched to spur forward-thinking community foundations to meet an important and growing need in our democracy: the need for in-depth news and information at the local level.
“One of our primary objectives of the Santa Barbara Foundation is to identify and champion projects that deliver impactful results to our community,” said Ron Gallo, president and CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation. “Once projects have been incubated, stabilized and properly stewarded, we then look for ways to embed them into the community for growth and long-term sustainability.
“Transitioning Mission & State to a local, community-based journalism organization like Noozhawk comports to what we have discovered works well for all.”
A 24/7 local news site, Noozhawk has continued to grow as an online resource for more than seven years. With the acquisition of Mission & State, Noozhawk will have a greater potential to educate and engage even more of the community with increased visibility and web presence, as well as financial sustainability.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to assist the Santa Barbara Foundation in establishing Mission & State as a vital community resource,” said William Macfadyen, Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. “We’ve long had a keen interest in Mission & State and its innovative concept for in-depth reporting on challenging, important local issues.
“With this strategic partnership, we see tremendous potential and a groundbreaking opening to educate and engage our community. As pioneers ourselves, we believe we’re uniquely positioned to grow Mission & State, and to extend its reach and reputation among a broader audience.”
Macfadyen outlined three objectives Noozhawk would pursue immediately:
» Increase the volume and relevance of Mission & State’s reporting
» Increase Mission & State's visibility in the community and web presence through Noozhawk’s resources and with meaningful collaboration with other local media
» Concentrate on moving Mission & State toward independent financial viability
“My partners — Tom Bolton and Kim Clark — and I believe Noozhawk’s own experience as a startup will be instrumental as we chart Mission & State’s course into the future," Macfadyen said. "Equally important, we know our community and we know local news.”
Macfadyen said Bolton, Noozhawk’s executive editor, would take on the additional role of editor at Mission & State.
“Tom has a well-deserved reputation as one of the top journalists on the Central Coast,” he said. “Perhaps less well known is his skill at managing reporters, projects and budgets, and his ability to get the most out of each. We believe that content is everything, and Tom will bring a relentless focus on the issues that matter most to our community."
Josh Molina, another experienced and familiar local journalist, will continue as Mission & State’s senior writer. Macfadyen said he expects additional content to be contributed by Noozhawk’s own reporters, local freelance writers and through collaborative projects with other local media.
Gallo said civic engagement, the robust discussion of important civic issues, and the wonderful tapestry of cultural expression are all critical elements of a vibrant community, and so the Santa Barbara Foundation has been devoting more time and resources in the last few years to retooling the region’s infrastructure for community building.
The transition of KDB Radio to new ownership committed to a classical format and support of the arts community; the introduction to the region of KCRW, a first-rate public radio station with a knack for attracting younger audiences to “serious radio”; the support for many community trainings and dialogues (in partnership with local universities and nonprofits); and this most recent example of transitioning Mission & State to a local community-based journalism organization are all tangible expressions of the Santa Barbara Foundation’s civic engagement strategy.
With this new collaboration between Mission & State and Noozhawk, local news will continue to be enhanced by deep reporting about Santa Barbara County. Mission & State will be infused with the resources it needs to explore enterprise investigative pieces in addition to the day-to-day news coverage Noozhawk provides. The partnership is embracing the local media landscape in Santa Barbara County so that all residents can live a more informed, engaged, and democratic civic life.
— Jessica Tade is the director of communications and marketing for the Santa Barbara Foundation.