New Media Platform Focused on Race and Coronavirus Partners with Bay City News Foundation
Sumagaysay spent most of her career at the San Jose Mercury News and has specialized in technology and business news. Navalta is editor in chief at San Francisco magazine and has been a demographics editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, among other Bay Area daily newspapers.
"As longtime storytellers, we know we are in the middle of one of the biggest stories of our lives," said Sumagaysay. "Race and Coronavirus is going to address something close to our hearts: tracking the effects of this pandemic on minorities and immigrants. Even though we keep hearing that COVID-19 doesn't discriminate, we know that in the United States, black and brown people are disproportionately affected on many different levels."
Sumagaysay and Navalta both began their journalism careers at the Vallejo Times-Herald, where they worked together in the late 1990s, then moved to the Alameda Newspaper Group (now Bay Area News Group) before going on to different newspapers.
"While there have been numerous stories on how minorities are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, there is no media outlet focusing solely on the volatile intersection of race and the global pandemic," said Navalta. "Race and Coronavirus will fill this void at a time when consistent and in-depth coverage on this issue is not only timely, but crucial."
Katherine Ann Rowlands bought Bay City News Service, a regional newswire, and established the affiliated nonprofit in 2018 after a year as a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University and a long journalism career overseas and in the Bay Area, including at the Mercury News and East Bay Times.
"Our mission is to cover the people, places and issues that deserve more attention and this project will help do that," said Rowlands, founder and executive director of Bay City News Foundation, which publishes free local news at LocalNewsMatters.org. "This is a critical moment for the nation, and for journalism. We want to be sure that more stories get told."
Race and Coronavirus's first podcast will be with California Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) on the anti-Asian backlash in the United States. Other guests lined up for future episodes include: U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna (CA 17th District); Alida Garcia, vice president of advocacy for FWD.org; and ABC7 anchor, Dion Lim.
Levi Sumagaysay and Pati Navalta
Page Updated Last on: May 11, 2020