Nick Preciado has a new role at San Jose Spotlight

As a new content manager with experience in reporting, Nick grew with BenitoLink and pushed his job description to the limit.

BenitoLink Content ManagerNicholas Preciado recently left his position with us and started his new job at San Jose Spotlight. His new employer is also a nonprofit news website focused on the government and politics of San Jose. It’s a big step, and for BenitoLink with our small collaborators, changes can be painful. But as the person who hired Nick almost four years ago and watched him become very knowledgeable as a content manager, it’s personally satisfying to have this opportunity.

When Nick met me at Mars Hill Coffee House, I explained to Nick that BenitoLink was an experiment in community-sponsored news and that I thought it had a future. I said that despite the challenges, we have fun, people depend on us and we have a growing pool of locals who care enough about being informed to contribute to BenitoLink.

Without having a full picture of what local charitable news means, Nick decided to join the team. Over the next few years we jointly hosted several large public election forums and town halls, held a tequila tasting, a night of the contributors, a celebration of the Dia de Los Muertos, annual Supporter Thank You Nights, retreats for staff and even printed a few Spanish language newsletters that we have delivered to local markets.

As a new content manager with experience in reporting, Nick grew with BenitoLink and pushed his job description to the limit. He had a positive attitude and was able to keep all reporters organized. When COVID hit, he was fully prepared to process the duplicate issue of the story and serve a community with a great appetite for information. Thanks to him and the hard work of the team, our reading audience rose from 30,000 monthly readers to 60,000, and even exceeded 100,000 at the height of COVID.

One day Nick and I were in the office and he told me that as a journalist he thought he would never own a house. That was disheartening. It bothered me that he didn’t see much financial opportunity ahead of him. A few months ago I had the opportunity to do something about it. When I saw an email from Ramona Giwargis, Executive Director of San Jose Spotlight, about a fantastic job posting, I mentioned it to Nick. BenitoLink and SJ Spotlight are both members of INN, the Institute for Nonprofit News, and as local news providers we met as nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area. I told him the job paid way more than we can offer and he should try.

Nicholas Preciado (center), BenitoLink’s content manager, enjoys lunch with Leslie David (left) and John Chadwell (right) on his last day. Photo by Andrew Pearson.

The next thing you know-. Nick got the job! For us, his professional move is both exciting and a little daunting as he leaves a huge hole in our team that we need to fill (any content coordinators out there?). Fortunately, Noe Magaña, John Chadwell, and Carmel De Bertaut are doing their best to get the publication done. It always takes a little time to get back in sync, but it’s so rewarding to see Nicholas Preciado face so many challenges and then get such an opportunity.

Good luck from all of us, Nick!

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