The Oakland Tribune is returning to the heart of the city in a newsroom that will be more accessible and welcoming than any in the paper's 138-year history.
Beginning Monday, the Tribune's new home will be across from Sears at 1970 Broadway in Oakland's bustling Uptown district. The former Wachovia Bank branch will house the paper's editorial and advertising staffs along with a media lab where community members can take classes and chat with reporters.
"This won't just be a newsroom, it will be a gathering point -- a place where people can learn skills and meet the people who are covering their communities," said Martin Reynolds, the Tribune's senior editor for community engagement.
The paper left the iconic Tribune Tower in 2007 for a new office building across Interstate 880 from the Coliseum complex.
"It was a good location, but we weren't near the action," Tribune Publisher Mac Tully said. "Moving to Broadway puts us in the thick of the action, and we're excited about that."
Bringing the Tribune back to the city's center is part of the paper's renewed commitment to engaging with residents and breaking down walls between readers and journalists.
"If you want to give readers a reason to trust you as their news source, it can't just be you reporting at them," Reynolds said. "It has to be a more collaborative give and take."
Reporters and editors will teach classes at the media lab on topics including social media
The lab will have drop-in hours during which readers can share ideas with reporters.
It also will be the training center for Oakland Voices, a community journalism program that teaches residents to become storytellers and publishes some of their articles in the Tribune. Details on the project can be found at www.oaklandvoices.us.
The Tribune's photo archive, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning images chronicling the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, also will make the move to Uptown.
The paper's new home, however, doesn't have space for the news archive, which will be housed at the Hayward Area Historical Society.
The Tribune had looked at several potential homes for the archive, which date to 1912. UC Berkeley wasn't able to accept it, Reynolds said. The new owner of the Tribune Tower offered space for the archive but couldn't provide the required oversight to safeguard it.
The Hayward society, which is at 22701 Main St., will make the archive available to researchers. "It's going to a good home," Reynolds said. "People will have more access to the archive now than if it had stayed at the Tribune."
Contact Matthew Artz at 510-208-6345.