Statement on Local Media from Davis Media Access

By Autumn Labbé-Renault, Executive Director

May 9, 2024

As the Davis Enterprise continues to recede, something has to evolve as a source of community information and news. We think Davis Media Access (DMA) can offer part of the solution.

With journalistic expertise at staff, board and volunteer levels, we’ve been talking internally about Davis’ growing news drought at DMA for months before the Enterprise made its latest cut — the stunning layoff of Bob Dunning, who wrote a column and sports stories for the paper for 55 years.

(You might have noticed another new hole at the Enterprise, by the way — Bruce Gallaudet hasn’t had a story in the paper since April 28, when he wrote “goodbye, all!” at the end of his story that Sunday. This is a big loss for covering local sports.)

Since last fall, DMA has been developing an idea for a Civic Information Hub—not to supplant local news, but to fill in the gaps in our local information ecosystem. I’ve met with dozens of journalists, elected officials, librarians, educators and other community leaders towards that end. You can listen to a very early discussion about the idea on the KDRT program Davisville, although I want to emphasize the word “early.”

Exploring a Civic Information Hub for Yolo County

By Autumn Labbé-Renault, Executive Director, Davis Media Access

Davis Media Access (DMA) is articulating a vision for a project that seeks to bring together an award-winning noncommercial community media center in Davis, CA with other local news and culture resources, all in the service of a community and its citizens’ information needs. This vision originates at a moment when the decline of local news is being addressed nationally but the decline of historical funding in our own noncommercial community media sector is not.  It’s a moment for reinvention.

Pardon Our Dust, It's a Remodel

By Autumn Labbe-Renault
, Executive Director

This column was originally published in The Davis Enterprise

It not only feels like I’ve been writing about the pending remodel at Davis Media Access (DMA) for years, I have actually been writing about it for years. My board and staff have heard me say “0/10  - I don’t recommended trying to start a remodel at the start of a global pandemic.” It’s been complicated, to say the least.

But today (May 1, 2024) as I write, Joe Albertazzi and his crew at Albertazzi Construction have begun demolition work at the media center at 1623 Fifth St. In my book, this is cause for celebration.

How did we get here, and what does it have to do with noncommercial community media?

Thank you for your Big Day of Giving generosity

From the board, staff and volunteers at Davis Media Access, we thank our community for tremendous support on yesterday's Big Day of Giving. We exceeded our BDoG goal in support of services including community radio station KDRT, local election coverage, and arts and culture programming. Much gratitude to Sacramento Regional Community Foundation and Yolo Community Foundation. Proud to be part of our region's nonprofit community!

Mayor Chapman guests on "The City Considers"

Davis Mayor Josh Chapman is the guest on the most recent episode of "The City Considers." The show aims to provide discussion and insight into the people and services behind City government. 

Elected to the Davis City Council in 2020, Chapman began his term as mayor in January of this year. He is the owner and manager of Armadillo Music in Downtown Davis, and has served on a variety of community boards and planning efforts.

Cherry Blossom Fest celebrates hope, art

"In the Studio," host Tim Gaffaney talks with Gregory Wada, founder and executive director of the Davis Cherry Blossom Festiva,l which takes place April 13-14. They discuss what prompted him to start the festival; its conitinuing mission, the cultural role of Taiko and the groups that will perform at the festival. Also discussed: special food and beer, and the makers' fair with over 60 booths offering visual arts and crafts. Although admission is free, each year the festival identifies charities to which they funnel donations that are made at the festival, and new this year, they are accepting in-kind donations. Wtach the episode here, and for more information visit the festival website

Concept Paper: Community Media Meets Public Service Journalism

Community Media Meets Public Service Journalism
Creating a Civic Information Hub for Yolo County
By Autumn Labbé-Renault, Executive Director, Davis Media Access

Updated April 2024

This is a vision for a project that seeks to bring together an award-winning noncommercial community
media center in Davis, CA with other local news and culture resources, including student-run newspapers
and podcasts; a community arts/culture/entertainment newspaper, and a once-robust local newspaper—
all in the service of a community and its citizens’ information needs.

Generally, this would be a new source of community and civic information about Davis/Yolo, drawing on
the strengths and needs of people in the community, and available to all. We don't see this as a
commercial venture; we do see it as a supplement to existing local sources of information. How this
would work or function, or how it would be funded, are questions we hope to answer through our
exploration phase, but we envision a three-year runway to get the project up and running in Davis in Year
1, with expansion to covering other important news in Yolo County beginning in Year 2.

Project Principals

Autumn Labbé-Renault (she/her) began her career as a newspaper reporter and editor; worked in development and public affairs/policy for Planned Parenthood, and has spent the past 20+ years using media tools to build capacity and community in Yolo County. She’s served as DMA’s ED since 2007.

"Open Country' screening to benefit KDRT

What: 'Open Country' film debuts in Davis benefits KDRT

When: 3/10/24

Where: Davis Odd Fellows Hall, 415 Second St., Davis

Tickets online or at the door

Davis residents Glenda and Jesse Drew recently completed a documentary film on the history and politics of country music, an effort that's been a labor of love for the couple for many years. It is a gift, they say, to "community organizations, down-home music venues, alternative film spaces, union halls, and grassroots projects, as a means to spread the word and to help generate some funds and resources to continue doing the good work you do."

Yolo election results: So far, Davis schools tax is winning by a few dozen votes

By Bill Buchanan for Davis Media Access

Posted 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 6

Measure N, the latest school parcel tax to go before Davis school district voters, is winning — but not by much.

The results won’t be final until the Yolo Elections Office counts all ballots, including ones that voters mailed on or before March 5 but don’t arrive for a few days after. The office explains the process in “Why it can take time to certify an election.”

As of this morning (March 6), the measure to impose a $768 tax per parcel of property in the Davis Joint Unified School District has received 7,194 yes votes, or 66.91 percent of the total counted so far, against 3,557 no votes, or 33.09 percent.

The measure needs two-thirds approval to pass, and has cleared that hurdle by less than one-third of 1 percent so far. For now, that margin of victory works out to about three dozen votes.

In other words, the outcome is too close to call as of March 6. Measure N supporters quoted in a story today by Monica Stark of the Davis Enterprise were hopeful. A story by David Greenwald in the Davis Vanguard called it a nailbiter.

Other Yolo results