We love Santa Cruz County. We strive to understand its story in all of its complexity.

Santa Cruz Local is different from other local newsrooms. We respond to what you tell us you need.

By answering your questions and digging into your story ideas, our work becomes more useful to you. We seek people who are most affected by decisions in local government. We strive to reflect the diversity of Santa Cruz County in our journalism.

We look for solutions.

We look for approaches to problems in other cities and counties and dissect them. We unravel how those solutions work, where they fall short and what it would take to bring those models to Santa Cruz County.

We inform residents and get them involved in local government.

We let you know about big upcoming decisions in local government and how to make your voice heard. We love to break down complex issues and make them digestible.

Our information is free.

We strive to serve a broader range of Santa Cruz County residents than other local media outlets. To strengthen our community, local news should be accessible to everyone, not just those who can afford it. Our news is easy to access on your phone, in your email and in your podcasts.

We are supported by you.

Most of our funding comes from locals like you. Santa Cruz Local members keep our local news free for everyone. Santa Cruz Local is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, EIN: 37-2064285. Donations and membership contributions are tax-deductible.


We produce fair and accurate local journalism that holds power to account.


When we are all watching and engaged in our local government, our needs are addressed, democracy works better and our community is stronger.


We value integrity, transparency, public trust, and quality over quantity. We aim for truth, depth, context and analysis rather than virality, online engagement and speed.

Our principles

  1. Journalism comes before profit. We believe journalism is a public good. Our mission of creating fair and accurate local journalism that holds power to account drives all business decisions. Our company exists to benefit the public, not to maximize profit.
  2. We seek the truth without fear or favor. Our newsroom is independent. No donor, grantor, sponsor or advertiser of Santa Cruz Local has weighted influence on or early access to any journalism we produce.
  3. We value our employees and respect their time. We want our employees to feel like they belong at Santa Cruz Local. We pay a fair and competitive salary. We love our work, but balance comes first. Our team’s processes and policies prioritize work/life balance and staff mental health.
  4. We will be transparent. Our readers should be able to easily learn about our values, our editorial and ethical policies, and our major financial supporters. We will make public all organizations and donors who give $5,000 or more per year. See these donors. Read our editorial independence policy.
  5. Accuracy, rigor and fairness come before speed and style. Our stories give context and explanations. We want to foster informed, healthy discourse. We’re not after your clicks. We’ve designed our company so that the community, not website traffic, drives revenue. The top sources of our revenue are members, donors and grants.
  6. Locals come first. We want to support locals, since locals support us. We will work with Santa Cruz County vendors as much as possible.

Want to learn more?

Stay informed on Santa Cruz County's biggest issues.

Santa Cruz Local's newsletter breaks down complex local topics and shows residents how to get involved.

Santa Cruz Local’s news is free. Our newsroom relies on locals like you for financial support. Our members make regular contributions, starting at $19 a month or $199 year.