The California Watch team is taking a coffee break, and you’re invited. Next Monday, Oct. 4, our reporters, editors and interns will fan out to coffeehouses across the state for our second Open Newsroom event.

It’s been roughly nine months since our first Open Newsroom, and in that time we’ve moved to a beautiful landmark building on Center Street in downtown Berkeley and our staff has grown significantly. So we figured it was time you, our readers, got to meet the California Watch team. What better way for us to connect – and get out of the office – than by meeting up over a cuppa joe?

From 9 a.m. till noon on Oct. 4, we’ll set up shop in coffeehouses from Sacramento to Irvine. Check the map to find the reporter nearest you and stop by and say hello. We’re looking forward to meeting you and hearing what’s going on in your community. Got tips? We’re here to listen and learn. We’ll also be tweeting throughout the morning. Join in our conversation by using #opennews in all your tweets.

And if that’s not incentive enough, we’re giving away one iPod Touch. All you have to do is stop by one of the coffeehouses where we’re working (see the map below) and introduce yourself to us. We’ll give you the secret code word that you can then e-mail to (along with your name, phone number, and address). A winner will be randomly selected the next day. Submissions are due by 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 4. 

We’d also like to say a special thank-you to the coffeehouses around the state that are hosting our Open Newsroom: 

Can’t make it? You can always follow us on Twitter (@CaliforniaWatch) and become a fan on Facebook ( to keep abreast of California issues and talk to us anytime. 

View California Watch Open Newsroom in a larger map

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Ashley Alvarado is the community news editor for California Watch and The Bay Citizen, where she oversees the news-engagement and public engagement staff. She is focused on helping to reach new audiences and engaging communities around CIR, California Watch and Bay Citizen stories. Ashley is also CIR's Public Insight Network analyst. She currently serves as managing editor of Los Cabos Magazine and previously worked at Los Angeles and Tu Ciudad Los Angeles magazines. Ashley is a graduate of the University of Southern California.