Sonoma West becomes SoCoNews

By Zoë Strickland, Managing Editor, SoCoNews, June 9, 2021

soconews logo

Townsy Sebastopol gets its news from Sonoma West Times & News, a venerable Sebastopol institution that has been covering Sebastopol since 1889.  Sonoma West is owned by a small newspaper group called Sonoma West Publishers, which also owns the Cloverdale Reveille, the Windsor Times and the Healdsburg Tribune.  Sonoma West Publishers has decided to combine its coverage of all four towns into a single news site: soconews.org. Their new website launched on Monday and we urge you check them out  https://soconews.org/.  We will continue to publish their Sebastopol and west county news in Townsy Sebastopol. 

This is a letter from their new managing editor, Zoe Strickland, about the change. 

Starting today, viewers of our website and social media will notice a significant change — The Healdsburg Tribune, Cloverdale Reveille, Windsor Times and Sonoma West Times & News now have a new look and a combined new name, SoCoNews.

The identities of the Cloverdale Reveille, Windsor Times and Sonoma West Times & News are going to remain part of our legacy — you may still see special publications with their names — but they won’t be an active part of our online presence going forward. While The Healdsburg Tribune will live on in its print edition, all of our Healdsburg news will also be presented under the name SoCoNews.

Why the change?

In addition to our new name and website, SoCoNews will soon be under the ownership of nonprofit Sonoma County Local News Initiative. Rollie Atkinson and Sarah Bradbury, owners of Sonoma West Publishers (Cloverdale Reveille, Windsor Times, Sonoma West Times & News and The Healdsburg Tribune) have gifted the news flags, including SoCoNews, to Sonoma County Local News initiative, a nonprofit devoted to working to preserve local journalism.

We’ve changed our name for a few reasons. As we settle into being a set of daily digital publications and head into being a news nonprofit, we strongly believe that the best way to preserve the hyper-local journalism that we’re dedicated to, while also welcoming in change, is to do so by meeting the moment with a new name and look.

Though some things are changing, the reporters and newspaper staff you’re familiar with are staying the same, though you’ll hopefully be seeing more bylines soon

What does this mean?

While SoCoNews as a news source will encompass the areas of Cloverdale, Healdsburg, Sebastopol, West County and Windsor, we’ll still be maintaining our individualized, hyper-local reporting. On the front page of soconews.org, you’ll be able to see an amalgamation of our reporting — county news, news about all of our coverage areas, as well as columns, sports coverage, police logs and more. For those who only want to read about their hometown, part of our website is split into the areas we cover, with a page devoted to each location.

Most importantly, this website switch and the change of ownership means that our news will be free to everyone. Unlike the former Healdsburg Tribune, Cloverdale Reveille, Windsor Times and Sonoma West Times & News sites, SoCoNews doesn’t have a paywall. We believe access to news is a right.

While we aren’t making our readers pay a monthly fee, we do ask that you consider making a contribution to Sonoma County Local News Initiative, to help sustain our operations moving forward.

We’re all excited about this change, the future and what it holds for local journalism. We hope you are too.

This article was produced by SoCoNews. See more news at soconews.org