Local News Initiative

Sonoma County Local News Initiative is the nonprofit organization created to preserve local news and journalism in Sonoma Country, particularly by supporting four legacy papers: Sonoma West Times & News, Windsor Times, Cloverdale Reveille, and The Healdsburg Tribune.

In June 2021, these four papers will be combined into a single website the SoCoNews.org, providing trusted, reliable news online and free to our community. The Healdsburg Tribune will also continue to be a printed paper. The ownership of the paper and the website will pass from the newspapers' current owners Rollie Atkinson and Sarah Bradbury to the Sonoma County Local News Initiative. We invite you to become a part of this exciting adventure in community-supported journalism. 

Find out more about the Sonoma County Local News Initiative at https://www.socolocalnews.org/s/


A letter from Local News Initiative president Nancy Dobbs

To our readers: 

Across the country, local newspapers are folding. Hundreds of them. As Facebook and media giants absorb more and more advertising revenue, local news outlets lose their solvency and go bankrupt to the tune of 100 a year since 2004. The pandemic has accelerated this trend.

These “news desert communities” are left without credible and comprehensive local information.

SoCoNews is determined not to let this happen in Sonoma County, and we invite you to join us.

Over 100 years ago, local journalism began for the communities along the Russian River. Throughout the generations, it transformed to meet our changing needs. SoCoNews will keep this tradition alive.

In recent decades our local news has come to us from Sonoma West Publishers (SWP) through the newspapers and digital publications of Sonoma West Times & News,  Windsor Times, Cloverdale Reveille, and The Healdsburg Tribune.

SWP owners Rollie Atkinson and Sarah Bradbury are now gifting them to us—you and me and your neighbors and the family on the other side of town. All of us. Local news will be accessible to everyone through SoCoNews, owned and operated by the nonprofit Sonoma County Local News Initiative, and we all will become the vital keepers of our community’s core for the sharing of information.

Our local news will continue to:

  • Hold local government accountable
  • Celebrate triumphs and mourn losses
  • Chronicle good times and acknowledge achievements
  • Connect community members with happenings and events
  • Provide key information in times of crisis
  • Promote and strengthen our economy

As a current subscriber you have had access to local news online. SoCoNews recognizes that for a healthy community it is vital for everyone be informed, engaged and involved. And from now on, local news will be free and available to everyone. That is exciting for our community!

How is this possible? SoCoNews will now be supported in the same manner as we support our local museums, libraries, arts centers and other community nonprofits—through generous donations from community members, each of us giving what we can. Your help is essential and we ask you to consider making a gift today.

Monthly giving is easy and the best way to help.

I hope you will choose to donate today by going online to socolocalnews.org or by sending a check. If you have any questions regarding your paid subscription or about making a gift, please contact us at 707.433.4451 or teresa@sonomawest.com Your gift is fully tax deductible.

We are honored to inherit the legacy of the Sonoma West papers and feel keenly the responsibility to effectively carry on this vital service to our communities. I thank you for considering extending your support.

Together we will prevent Sonoma County from becoming a “news desert.” Together we will sustain and strengthen local journalism.


Nancy Dobbs

President, Sonoma County Local News Initiative

35-year Subscriber to Sonoma West Times & News

P.S. We hope you will join us! Thank you for your involvement and support. 



Rollie Atkinson

Richard Bugarske

Nancy Dobbs

Nancy Dougherty

Susanne Esquivel

Mary Fricker

Ricardo Ibarra

Greg Jacobs



Lowell Bergman

Sarah Bradbury

Chris Dawson

Marie Gewirtz

John Grech

Ray Holley

Mary Luttrell

Sara Peyton

Bruce Robinson

Bleys Rose

Jim Shelton 

SoCoNews Newsletters

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.