Front page of Issue 16Get the winter 2015 print editionwith a special report on school segregation. Plus an insert commemorating the now-defunct S.F. Bay Guardian.

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The Public Press Blog

SF Public Press Fall 2011 edition focuses on city budget — launch event Aug. 13


Michael Stoll, Executive Director
Lila LaHood, Director of Operations and Development
(415) 495-7377 — news [AT]

The San Francisco Public Press publishes its fall 2011 print edition — the fourth since launching last summer — on Wednesday, Aug. 10, with a special section on the prospect of better city budgeting, and engaging stories from 16 local public media and civic organizations.
The headliner for Issue 4 is a collaborative project with, a website focusing on the sharing movement, exploring how San Francisco’s perennial budget-cutting process might be improved. Reporters looked at the growing trend of “participatory budgeting,” the use of the Internet to promote transparency and the unfulfilled promise of government audits to identify and eliminate millions of dollars in waste.
The package also includes examples of how budget cuts almost derailed some vital city services, such as naturalization services for senior citizens, and how nonprofit organizations are forced to lobby politicians to “add back” funds after the budget passes.
The 16-page, two-section broadsheet newspaper will be available for sale for $1 at about 50 locations around the Bay Area. The print run is 8,000 copies. Parts of the budget package will be published online first on and later on
The latest edition of the Public Press also features in-depth policy-focused stories from partner organizations such as KQED’s “Forum” with Michael Krasny, California Watch/Center for Investigative Reporting, KALW News, the San Francisco Neighborhood Newspaper Association, California Northern Magazine and new partners such as the bilingual newspaper El Tecolote and the Public Policy Institute of California.
“The fall issue focuses on vital public policy choices facing the city of San Francisco in an unprecedented era of year-after-year budget cutting,” said Michael Stoll, the organization’s executive director. “It shows that small startup public media organizations can do important public-interest explanatory news reporting and fill in some of the gaps left by the ever-shrinking commercial press.”
The papers will arrive on Wednesday, August 10, at 6 a.m. and go on sale immediately at the Public Press office at 965 Mission Street, Suite 220, in San Francisco. Newspapers will be distributed to Bay Area retailers throughout the day. A regularly updated list of retailers carrying the paper can be found on the website: Also, check our Twitter ( and Facebook ( pages for live updates on where to get a copy.
LAUNCH PARTY: NOON ON SATURDAY, AUG. 13, CRISSY FIELD. The Public Press is sponsoring a “print launch picnic” on Saturday, Aug. 13, to celebrate Issue 4 and the more than 50 people who put it together. Drop by the East Beach picnic area at Crissy Field between noon and 3 p.m. for a family friendly afternoon of food, drinks and games. We’ll also be handing out free copies of the newspaper. Please remember to RSVP so that we bring enough food: Volunteers will be collecting donations — “sliding scale, pay as you wish” — at the picnic.
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The San Francisco Public Press is a local, nonprofit, noncommercial news organization covering local public-interest journalism — with a focus on economy, civics and streetscape — in the Bay Area. We aim to do for print and Web what public broadcasting does for television and radio. We produce news online daily and in a quarterly print newspaper.
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Public Press coverage of Bay Area media meltdown featured on national #wjchat

This week’s #wjchat, a weekly chat for Web journalists on Twitter, was on a topic that is significant to journalists and nonjournalists alike: the future of journalism jobs.
The chat was founded by Robert Hernandez, assistant professor of professional practice at the University of Southern California, Annenberg’s School for Communication and Journalism, and Kim Bui, social media and communication editor at KPCC 89.3-FM in Pasadena.
According to the organizers, the focus for this week’s conversation was inspired by a series of articles on the Bay Area media landscape that was published by the San Francisco Public Press this spring.
@wjchat This #wjchat we're talking the future of journalism jobs - inspired by @sfpublicpress recent report: Send us Qs!
The stories in the package include: a quantitative and qualitative analysis of how news organizations in the Bay Area are coping with smaller staff, the influence and emergence of thousands of new media startups in the area, and the impact of the shortage of ad-revenue on local broadcast journalists. The stories are available online and in the spring print edition.
Some of the key questions discussed in this week’s #wjchat session are:
  1. @wjchat Q1B What skill sets would you need to get hired in this new future? #wjchat
  2. @wjchatQ5 Are core journalistic ethics changing in this new landscape? Should they? #wjchat
  3. @wjchat Q7 Are failing news orgs worth saving? Is this evolution and natural selection at work?
We thank the organizers and participants of #wjchat for this discourse.
Discussions like this are crucial to the revitalization and reinvention of the news industry both locally and nationally. Some hold the view that journalism is facing dark times that can only be rectified by the bright glow of content-rich news websites on computer screens, smart phones and tablets. Some believe that dusting off and resuscitating rusted printing presses can be of immense value to the community, especially in eradicating the digital divide.
There is much debate and discussion within the journalism community about what is next, what to expect, and what paths to take in terms of finding jobs in the field, maintaining journalistic ethics in a rapidly mutating digital environment, and producing long-form and investigative features in newsrooms where journalism jobs are evaporating, among many other questions.
But undoubtedly, the future of journalism will touch all of us.
With this in mind, the voices of community members are just as important as the voices of journalists in building the news ecosystem of the coming years.
So to continue the conversation, we ask everyone:
How have the loss of journalism jobs in the Bay Area affected you? Are the issues that matter to you being covered by your local news organizations? What types of innovations have you seen or would like to see in the news industry?

We want to hear from you. Share your responses and questions by leaving comments here, on Twitter (@sfpublicpress) or on our Facebook page. 

SF Public Press joins Reuters national nonprofit news distribution deal

The San Francisco Public Press will start distributing selected news stories through the Thompson Reuters newswire in a deal brokered by the Investigative News Network, the two organizations announced earlier this week.

Articles will be distributed internationally and available to all of Reuters’ customers — news organizations that distribute in print, online and in broadcast media. 

The network, a consortium of more than 50 nonprofit news organizations, many of them startups, was founded last year in an effort to share news stories and operational resources to increase the reach of the journalism the organizations produce. They include the Center for Public Integrity, California Watch, MinnPost  and the St. Louis Beacon. Seven members are located in the Bay Area. They are SF Public Press, California Watch/Center for Investigative Reporting, Spot.Us,, New America Media, Oakland Local and the G.W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism.

Of the members of the network, 30 are participating in the Reuters deal.

“Investigative reporting is at the forefront of our mission, and we’re excited to expand our reach and serve Reuters clients around the globe,” said Kevin Davis, chief executive officer of the Investigative News Network.

The Public Press already syndicates its stories to Yahoo! and the Bay Citizen, and is developing distribution relationships with other publishers. 

Pictures from the spring edition launch party 5/12/11

Thanks to everyone who turned out last Thursday night for the launch party for the spring edition of the San Francisco Public Press. We rocked the basement art space of the new location of the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts at 998 Market Street, full of interactive art. Thanks to Kristine Magnuson for the awesome photos.

Reporter Jerold Chinn and grants manager Theresa Seiger play interactive art installations. 

Reporter Angela Hart and News Editor Rich Pestorich represent.

Danielle Craig, former Public Press News Editor Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig and Executive Director Michael Stoll hamming it up.

Assistant News Editor Michael Levitin and friends.

Director of Operations and Development Lila LaHood (left, with falafel) and ubersupporters Michael Winter and Deepti Gottipati.

Intern-to-be Katie Lewin and lawyer-to-be Oliver Luby.

Big Brotheresque art piece overseeing the proceedings. Far right: Project Editor Liz Enochs chats with a skeletal print designer Jackson Solway.

The news, old and new, is our theme in the Public Press third print edition

Today we are proud to announce the publication of Issue No. 3 of the San Francisco Public Press — still in glorious full-color broadsheet.
The special section in the issue: a team project on the fall and possible rebirth of Bay Area news mediaJeremy Adam Smith reports on how half of Bay Area newspaper jobs evaporated on the last decade, while David Weir delves into some of the more than 5,000 San Francisco-based new media startups. The media project took a team of eight people months to report. It grew out of the work we did this winter to help produce the Bay Area Journalist Census for NOVA, a workforce development agency in Sunnyvale.
We will be rolling out stories online over the next few days. If you want to read them sooner, get a copy of the paper!
Issue No. 3 of the San Francisco Public Press, a broadsheet full-color local newspaper, will be available for just $1 at more than 50 retail outlets by Thursday, May 12, and now through online mail order ($4).
The “About Us” section of the newspaper on page 2 explains why we thought it necessary to turn the focus on our own profession:
Since the Public Press started publishing news online two years ago there has been an explosion of news-focused new media ventures locally and across the country. They range in scope from global to ”hyperlocal.” Cravenly commercial to naïvely idealistic. Amateur to professional. Earnest to downright sarcastic.
All this experimentation is crucial if journalists are to continue their role in preserving democratic self-governance by keeping the powerful accountable. Our focus in issue No. 3 of this newspaper: what, if anything, will emerge from the rubble of the Bay Area’s once formidable local press infrastructure. See page B1.
As David Weir, one of the founders of and the Center for Investigative Reporting — both incubated in San Francisco — writes in this issue, this city will be the birthplace of the new news.
The Public Press is one such experiment. We combine the approach of public broadcasting (requesting small donations from satisfied listeners during pledge drives) with newspaper sales and a subscription model. What we don’t do is sell eyeballs to advertisers. We think freedom from commercial messages allows us to do more independent reporting about the whole community, not just the elites whom advertisers covet.
It has been a hard slog gathering the resources to produce what we’re planning to turn into a quarterly journal of public policy and culture for San Francisco. We are still mostly volunteers — professional journalists who believe in the mission of the organization — but we take our work and our commitment to serving the community seriously.
In other words, we want to hear from you. What should we be doing? Send us your thoughts. And please, if you like what you see here, send us your Starbucks frappuccino money:



EVENT: Spring print launch party at GAFFTA on 5/12

We're celebrating the spring print launch of the
San Francisco Public Press
with one big


Thursday, May 12, 5:30 - 9 p.m.
Gray Area Foundation for the Arts
998 Market St. (Warfield Building), San Francisco


Join us for drinks and appetizers,
and pick up a complimentary copy of the newspaper!

Music by DJ Ario.

Come check out GAFFTA's new home and experience
TRANSMUTATIONS: Sound, Data, and Mechanics

— a site-specific interactive art installation by sonicSENSE

(We're fans of news and art that you can touch.)

Raffle gifts provided by Philz Coffee.

• General admission: $10 via eventbrite or $15 at the door.

• Public Press members (join today!) and contributors to the spring print edition get in free.

We will accept cash, checks and credit cards (via Square) at the door.

EVENT: SF Bay Area Journalist Census presentation and discussion


Please join us for a presentation and discussion of the

San Francisco Bay Area Journalist Census 2000-2010

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

6 to 8 p.m.

World Affairs Council of Northern California

312 Sutter St., San Francisco

6 to 6:30 p.m. — Reception with refreshments

6:30 to 8 p.m. — Presentation of the report, followed by a panel discussion with audience participation.

Find out how job loss has affected journalists in the Bay Area since 2000, talk with a few who have navigated the rapidly shifting media landscape and hear employment experts discuss where the job market is headed.


We hope to see you there!

Preliminary report summaries available at

The San Francisco Bay Area Journalist Census a workforce study assessing changes in the media industry and job dislocation among Bay Area journalists, is sponsored by NOVA, a federally funded employment and training agency based in Sunnyvale. This event is cosponsored by the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Renaissance Journalism Center at San Francisco State University.

Preliminary Reports from SF Bay Area Journalist Census

The San Francisco Bay Area Journalist Census 2000-2010 has released preliminary reports from a study of employment trends among Bay Area journalists:

Do these findings reflect what you've observed? Let us know what you think here, on or by sending an email to Some response comments will be included in the final report, which will be released on or about Thursday, April 14, followd by a presentation and discussion at a public event in San Francisco on Tuesday, April 19. Details to follow.

The Journalist Census is a project of the North Valley Job Training Consortium (NOVA), a federally funded nonprofit employment and training agency based in Sunnyvale. NOVA will produce a public report on the Journalist Census findings and will use the study to plan and support future training and workforce development programs in the Bay Area.

SF Public Press helped with efforts to contact current and former Bay Area journalists for this study. We'll be incorporating the findings in the media reporting project described in this Spot.Us pitch.

Members make a difference

The volunteers and freelancers who report for the San Francisco Public Press would like to say thank you to all of our members.

With your help, we are producing context-rich, local journalism and publishing an ad-free newspaper packed with public-interest news reports.

If you haven't done so yet, we hope you will consider making a year-end, tax-deductible donation to support independent public media in San Francisco.

Your gift will help the Public Press thrive in 2011.


Thank you and happy New Year!

Fall print edition launch party -- Thursday, Nov. 11

We're so proud of our team for putting together the second edition of the Public Press newspaper!

Please help us celebrate their hard work. Join us for drinks and appetizers, pick up a FREE copy of the fall 2010 edition of the newspaper and meet the people who helped us make this happen!

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 11, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: The Mechanics' Institute, 57 Post St., SF
RSVP: On the
Facebook invite or send names to rsvp [at] sfpublicpress [dot] org.

New and current Public Press MEMBERS get in FREE!

  • General admission — $20
  • One-year membership, includes party admission — $35

Buy tickets or become a member here:

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