The California Beat, a general-interest Web site covering the Metropolitan San Francisco Bay Area, and The Campanil, the independent student newspaper serving Mills College in Oakland, California, plan to provide comprehensive gavel-to-gavel coverage of the murder trial for former Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Officer Johannes Mehserle starting June 1 in Los Angeles.
The Beat and The Campanil want to provide unbiased, original coverage of the trial utilizing a team of reporters from both organizations who will provide daily court reporting from inside the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
In order to accomplish this, we need your help. Please consider a donation in any amount to help pay for the costs associated with providing this comprehensive coverage. One hundred percent of your donation will go towards this project, paying for newsgathering expenditures such as housing, transportation, and other living expenses.
We intend to cover the trial from opening statements through the final verdict, providing frequent updates on both organizations’ Web sites, californiabeat.org and thecampanil.com. The reporting will be provided to the general public free of charge across multiple digital platforms.
What you can expect
Our goal is to provide daily courtroom coverage of the trial from inside the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Downtown Los Angeles, from the jury selection phase through the final verdict. We plan to provide unbiased reporting, including daily recaps of what happened in court and analysis of developments. All content will be edited to ensure accuracy and thoroughness.
We also plan to provide still and video photography of what is happening outside the courtroom — reaction from the Los Angeles community and friends, family and relatives of shooting victim Oscar Grant.
A comprehensive special section with background information, archived reports and special analysis reporting will also be assembled to give our online community an in-depth resource to better understand and follow the case.
We aim to provide trial coverage across our digital platforms free of charge to all visitors. Stories will be posted on the Web at californiabeat.org and thecampanil.com, major trial updates will be disseminated as they happen via the @californiabeat and @thecampanil Twitter feeds, and reporting will be accessible on our respective Facebook pages and on mobile devices.
Public service journalism for the Bay Area
We recognize that covering an out-of-area trial is a significant financial and resource burden for many news organizations in the Bay Area, especially in an era of shrinking newsrooms and news budgets. We also understand the significance of this high-profile trial — one that has deep social, political and cultural ramifications for the citizens of the Bay Area.
Cameras and microphones will not be permitted in the courtroom, and a gag order that prohibits attorneys and trial stakeholders from providing information to reporters is in place. This means that the public risks not being able to hear much about this trial.
Our primary goal in taking on this project is to provide a public service in giving our community unbiased and reliable reporting from inside the courtroom and complete and thorough coverage of the trial.
We are committed to allowing you — the public — the opportunity to know what is happening every day of this trial.
The two organizations are collaborating together to share content and resources for this project — but we still need you, our online community, to donate to make our coverage happen.
For any of this to happen, we need your help!
We’re asking for donations in any amount to help fund news-gathering expenses in Los Angeles. You can donate via PayPal — an easy and hassle-free method for securely sending us your contribution.
Please include your name and hometown were requested on the PayPal page so we can publicly recognize our valued donors. If you wish to remain anonymous, that’s fine too — just note your desire to exclude your name from our recognition list.
If we are not able to secure enough funding for this project, all donors will receive a full refund by the start of the trial.
You can also sponsor our special trial coverage section on the California Beat Web site for a one-time contribution.
Thank you for your generosity.