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Oakland Local, New America Media, KALW, Placeblogger and Spot.us and are teaming up to provide independent coverage of this trial.

Update: Follow instant updates via Twitter.

More than a year after the shooting death of Oscar Grant by a BART policeman, the trial of the officer in question, Johannes Mehserle, is taking place. Because the courts ruled that it would be impossible for Mehserle to get a fair trial in the Bay area, the judge ordered that the case be moved to Los Angeles.

For many people in Oakland - and many around the Bay area - the question of whether there will be a thorough and accurate reporter covering these events has been an open issue. Who will report on what is happening at the trial and present an accurate and unbiased view of all parties involved? And at the same time, as media has grown more corporate, who will publish these stories?

So that we can offer independent, quality coverage of the Johannes Mehserle trial, Oakland Local, a new hyperlocal non-profit, has teamed up with New America Media and others to hire a quality LA-based journalist to cover the trial for us. Oakland Local, New America Media and spot.US have each pledged $250 for this effort and we would like to match it by raising an additional $750. The stories will be published  in multiple outlets, including Oakland Local, The Black Hour (Laney College), NAM and NAM partners

- This reporting will also be able to provide for a social justice analysis by tapping into the community of local Los Angeles activists that are concerned about and organizing around the case, providing them with a voice and providing readers with a broader perspective.

How Will This Reporting Help? With this key person in place, we will have someone on the ground at the court house who can keep us posted on some of the issues and share both questions and answers, among them being the following:

  • How is jury selection going?
  • What is the attitude of LA media coverage - and people in LA - to this trial?
  • Is the shooting of Oscar Grant something people are actually unaware of?
  • Who is Judge Robert Perry and what do local social justice folks have to say?
  • Who is Mesherle's attorney Mike Rains and what do we know about him?
  • What is the critical evidence and who are the expert witnesses? 

Thanks to this article-sharing collaboration, independent reporting on this trial will keep us all informed. - The reporting will be independent of mainstream media such as the L.A. Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, and will present independent perspectives and quality views. The work will be both accurate and insightful; having one dedicated reporter means we will be able to publish stories as they happen.

 
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What is Spot.us?

Spot.Us is an open source project to pioneer "community powered reporting." Through Spot.Us the public can commission and participate with journalists to do reporting on important and perhaps overlooked topics. Contributions are tax deductible and we partner with news organizations to distribute content under appropriate licenses.