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Half Moon Bay Review  - Weekday
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Your weekday newsletter

Meeting readers where they live

Last week, we had our first meeting with the dozen people we tapped to serve on a new Coastside News Group Inc. Editorial Advisory Committee. Members were nominated and then handpicked in an attempt to best represent our disparate communities. Half the members are from Pacifica and half from Half Moon Bay and environs. We made an attempt to include people from different ethnic and age groups. It was a lively hour-and-a-half meeting and a terrific opportunity for those of us at the Half Moon Bay Review and Pacifica Tribune to hear from our readers.

The night’s question was: How has the pandemic changed your news habits? We talked about that some, but mostly we discussed the different ways we all gather our news and the potential for us to meet your needs more efficiently and effectively. Participants expressed some burnout in the wake of the 2020 election and pandemic. Some said social media sites like Twitter and Facebook were their prime news delivery systems; others said they rarely or never looked at them and relied on their print newspaper.

Coincidentally, our meeting came on the same day the Pew Research Center released its annual report on social media usage in America. (Find it here: https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2021/04/07/social-media-use-in-2021/) Anecdotally, our small focus group mirrored some of those national findings. Younger people are more likely to rely on social media than older folks. But it was also clear that each individual makes his or her own way through the media landscape. There were exceptions.

Among the takeaways, for me, were that our group seemed most interested in local context. Members didn’t necessarily expect us to compete with the citizen-reporting potential of a site like Nextdoor, but they counted on us to be authoritative and unique. Some said they increasingly rely on email newsletters like this one to get their news and that is a suggestion we may take to heart.

The meeting was just the beginning. We’ll continue to update you on our discussions and opportunities to participate in the future.

Housing talk: Cities across the Bay Area — most of which need to offer more housing — have begun the task of updating the housing elements of their general plans. San Mateo County is hosting a couple of general discussions to kick off the process. The first is at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. You can learn more about those meetings and the process here: https://www.letstalkhousing.org/

Are you ready for some football? This has been a strange high school football season to be sure. But fans on the Coastside are looking forward to one of the most anticipated matchups of any season as Terra Nova visits Half Moon Bay High School at 7 p.m. on Friday. Before you throw on your Tiger T-shirt or Cougar hoodie know that spectators aren’t allowed at the game beyond a small group of family. You can stream the games here https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/ for a fee.

— Clay Lambert