About Us September 2016

About us

ChicoSol re-launched in May 2016 as an “M-log” (an online magazine blog) with a new design that makes our stories more easily readable and searchable and encourages readers to comment and connect with our social media accounts. Here’s the scoop on this online magazine:


ChicoSol provides a digital platform for investigative reporting and cross-cultural journalism in the Northern Sacramento Valley, and as a nonprofit, has the following community-service objectives:
• To inform and encourage community discourse by providing in-depth news reporting and feature stories;
• To mentor student journalists and provide a publication outlet for young writers;
• To serve as a regional hub for immigrant communities by providing links to resources online, and under a new civic initiative, to facilitate outreach in community forums.

Our History

I first launched ChicoSol in 2007 as a bilingual classroom teaching tool after years of working as a journalist and an adjunct faculty member teaching college journalism. I spent several years in the 1970s working for California newspapers – in the Central Valley and the Bay Area – and most of the decade of the 1980s as a freelance correspondent in Mexico.  Spanish-language journalism had etched out an important niche in the nation by 2007, and English-language journalists with some Spanish fluency and cultural flexibility were well-equipped in California, where residents who identify as Latino are now a larger population group than non-Hispanic whites. Encouraging students to practice cross-cultural journalism with the skills they had seemed like a good idea.

ChicoSol, though, evolved into a bridge between the campus and the community and served as well as a platform for professional writers. For the past nine years, we’ve helped give voice to overlooked community members and groups by covering issues in both English and Spanish related to economic and racial fairness. We’ll continue to provide an outlet that is accessible to student journalists, and, in addition, support in-depth reporting and feature-writing by professional journalists and writers that enrich the community conversation.

Our work has been distributed through collaboration with several print outlets. ChicoSol belongs to the New America Media national ethnic-media network and is under the North Valley Community Foundation umbrella.

We’ve never been a fast-news kind of place. The for-profit print newspaper model is in trouble and in most communities, resources for reporting have been decimated. We provide the kind of work that takes time and thought and informs and perhaps inspires action. We also want to help make information as well as resources more accessible in the belief that civic action is a form of journalism. Leslie Layton, ChicoSol editor

Who’s driving the new ChicoSol:
Leslie Layton, editor: Leslie is a freelance journalist whose work has been published in Business Week, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Sacramento Bee, and other major and local newspapers and magazines. She has a Master’s in Communication from Stanford University.
Dave Waddell, news director: Dave is a professor emeritus in the department of journalism at Chico State and has practiced journalism since the 1970s.
Kate Sheehy, community outreach coordinator: Kate has spent the last several years covering immigration as a reporter for National Public Radio affiliates across the country. Reach out to her at sheehyjournalist@gmail.com.
Contributors/supporters: Karen Laslo, Lindajoy Fenley, Washington Quezada.

Support and stay in touch

We can’t do nonprofit community journalism without community support. Please support ChicoSol during Annie B’s Community Drive here. Tax-deductible donations made prior to 4 p.m. Sept. 30 help us win complementary funding from North Valley Community Foundation during this final year of Annie B’s.

We’ll be ramping up our email subscription system, but until we do, stay in touch by visiting the site and following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact information:

Write us at our new email address: chicosolnews@gmail.com 

Follow us on Facebook at: ChicoSol.org – Facebook and on Twitter at: @ChicoSolNews.

Fellowships and Honors

NAM Energy & the Environment reporting fellowship 2013

NAM Education reporting fellowship 2010

NAM Health reporting fellowship 2010

NAM Ethnic Media reporting honor “CSUC Grad Awaits ICE Decision”2010

John Swett award “The New Segregation” 2010 in collaboration with the Chico News & Review

Articles about ChicoSol

  “Teaching Tool: Reporting via ChicoSol.org,”  Inside Chico State, Feb. 15, 2016

 “Shining a Light on ChicoSol,Chico News & Review, July 3, 2008