About all of us 2024

ChicoSol’s mission: To provide cross-cultural feature writing and bold investigative reporting in the Chico area of the Northern Sacramento Valley.

ChicoSol is a not-for-profit news organization covering issues overlooked by traditional media that are starved for resources and unable to provide the in-depth coverage investigative reporting produces. We provide a digital platform for stories that span cultural borders, including those related to race, ethnicity, immigration status, language and class, and examine how power and policy affect vulnerable communities.

We follow the stories that often get dropped by print newspapers as we seek those who are accountable and those who can help find ways to address the community’s most vexing problems. In short, we believe that fact-based journalism nourishes democracy, that truth is sunlight. We distribute a new issue the first week of each month by sending an email note to all who have joined our subscription list.

Our objectives:
  • To provide in-depth features that encourage and enlarge community discourse;
  • Provide investigative reporting in the community’s interest;
  • Mentor young journalists and provide a publication outlet for student writers.
  • Our work is sustained by these principles:
  • Journalism should be performed as a community service, not driven by profit;
  • Context and background are more important than being first to publish;
  • Reporting should prioritize accuracy, fairness and balance through consideration of diverse viewpoints;
  • It is the duty of journalists to expose or correct rather than serve as a platform for misinformation;
  • Fair pay for journalists is essential.

To support our work and learn about our membership program, click here. We welcome you as a subscriber or as a donor — or better yet both!
To learn about how ChicoSol is funded and maintains editorial independence, click here. Our organization not only maintains a firewall between news coverage and revenue sources, but guarantees financial transparency for the public’s benefit.

ChicoSol Advisory Group:

Leslie Layton, managing editor: Leslie is a bilingual freelance journalist who has worked extensively in both Mexico and California. Her writing 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 degree in communication from Stanford University and spoke in 2017 as a presenting panel member at the Investigative Reporters & Editors’ annual conference in Phoenix, AZ.

Lindajoy Fenley,  administrative assistant: Lindajoy is a bilingual writer and teacher who worked on newspapers in California and in Central America and as a financial journalist in Mexico City. Between 1996 and 2006 she led Dos Tradiciones, AC, a nonprofit organization she founded in Mexico to promote traditional music and cultural understanding. She holds Master’s degrees in international journalism and Spanish.

Natalie Hanson, contributing editor: Natalie has a political science degree with a focus on international relations from Chico State University. She has been honored with awards from the California News Publishers’ Association, including with first places in reporting on local government and on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Forrest Hartman, university liaison: Forrest is a full-time lecturer at California State University, Chico, and adviser to The Orion, the university’s independent, student-run news organization. He is also chief film critic for Highbrow Magazine, a general interest, online publication specializing in news, politics, media, arts, entertainment, food and travel.

Kendall Moalem, community engagement and development director: Kendall has served in business management and communications roles throughout her career, focusing on process improvement and business communications at UC Berkeley and corporate communications as principal of her design & marketing firm.

Dave Waddell, our former news director, contributes investigative reporting. Dave is a professor emeritus in the Chico State Department of Journalism and worked for 20 years for daily newspapers.

Julian Mendoza, is a multimedia journalist who graduated from Chico State in 2022 with a major in journalism and a minor in criminal justice.

Karen Laslo, an experienced freelance photojournalist and local blogger, contributes photography.

Accuracy & corrections

We place great importance on accuracy. If you believe a correction is needed, you may contact us at chicosolnews@gmail.com. Our editorial team will review your request and respond, explaining whether we will correct or modify a story and why.

A corrected story will carry a notice from the editor at either the top or bottom of the article. We make corrections as needed as part of our duty to uphold the public’s trust in our reporting and diligence, and promise to respond in a timely manner to any question or claim that our reporting may contain an inaccuracy.


To the greatest possible extent ChicoSol ensures that stories fairly and appropriately represent diverse viewpoints.
To ensure reader trust, we will make a diligent effort to report the names of our story sources. When sources request anonymity, exceptions can be made if we are able to establish credibility and explain a justifiable reason for the anonymity.

Past & future

ChicoSol was launched in 2007 by Henri Flores and Leslie Layton, initially serving as a bilingual classroom teaching tool. Leslie was an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Journalism at California State University, Chico, and a freelance writer. It rapidly evolved into a bridge between the campus and community and soon began publishing professional writers as well as student journalists on a digital platform.

We developed a readership in the community through a free subscription system and published stories in both English and Spanish, establishing ourselves as a leader in the non-profit digital news field.

We continue to be committed to reporting that serves Spanish-speaking and other minority communities that are often overlooked by more traditional news outlets. We publish in Spanish when translation services are available to us. To the extent possible we support student journalists, and encourage as we can young writers who represent or have a connection to minority communities. We believe that delivering information to Butte County’s minority audiences is crucial. Diversity in the ranks of news professionals that reflects the state’s diversity is an important step.

ChicoSol specializes in in-depth reporting and high-quality writing that will engender audience trust. Dozens of our stories were reprinted or published in partnership with the Chico News & Review (when it had a print edition). Other stories have reached a broader audience after being reprinted by New America Media (now defunct), Ethnic Media Services (EMS) and other media outlets.

Please click here to read about our special projects, media coverage and awards and honors recognizing our work.

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

Thank you for reading!