Public Press wins an Excellence in Journalism award for ‘Public Schools, Private Money,’ in the winter 2014 edition

 

Shinwha Whang's blog

The People Behind the Press: The Digital Strategist

 
We want you to know what you’re getting for your membership donation by introducing you to some of the talented freelance writers, editors, photographers and multimedia journalists who make our newspaper possible. Join or renew your membership now to make sure that our journalists can continue to bring you more serious public-interest reporting in 2014.
 
The Digital Strategist: David Cohn
 
A longtime adviser to the Public Press, David has been a source of tireless enthusiasm, inspiration and new ideas.
 
A member of the Public Press board of directors, David was an original member of the founding steering committee and has long advised our organization on everything from technology, marketing and outreach to crowdfunding and social media. “I've been sold on the vision and mission and want to help however I can," he says.
 
David is known across the country as an energetic, savvy expert in novel and engaging ways to cover communities. “There are a lot of innovators in the journalism space,” Executive Director Michael Stoll says, “but David Cohn has a big heart, and in all his creative projects has used a digital-native understanding of the Web for good.” Publisher Lila LaHood says of David: “His positive attitude makes you look at a difficult situation and see all the possibilities.”  
 
David is the founding editor of Circa, a mobile news app that covers world events by constantly recombining brief updates. He also founded Spot.us, which connected journalists and media organizations with crowd-sourced funding. The site was later acquired by American Public Media. Through Spot.us, the Public Press was able to raise more than $25,000 for about 10 reporting projects.  
 
David says he stays involved because “the quality of work being done is astounding. I am not always sure how it gets done, but the San Francisco Public Press produces fantastic enterprise journalism. The quality of the print product is unmatched.”
 
Photo courtesy of UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

The People Behind the Press: The Photographer's Eye

We want you to know what you’re getting for your membership donation by introducing you to some of the talented freelance writers, editors, photographers and multimedia journalists who make our newspaper possible. Join or renew your membership now to make sure that our journalists can continue to bring you more serious public-interest reporting in 2014.

The Photographer's Eye: Tearsa Joy Hammock

Tearsa Joy Hammock brings versatility and verve to her work as a visual storyteller and multimedia journalist.

"I may have an idea but I also stay open to trying new ideas for the shot," Tearsa says. "I try to talk to the source while I'm shooting. I try to make the person feel like it's more of a conversation, not an interrogation."

A graduate of the photojournalism program at San Francisco State University, Tearsa has worked on several projects with the Public Press as a freelance journalist. She produces images in a wide range of styles according to the needs of her assignments. She has told the stories of the city's homeless residents, undocumented workers and the challenges facing the city due to unprecedented population growth in the region.

For the project “Nice Minimum Wage… If You Can Get It,” Tearsa reported the story of Mauricio Lozano, the Salvadoran immigrant who filed a minimum-wage violation complaint with the San Francisco City Office of Labor Standards Enforcement. Lozano won his case and recovered his wages. Tearsa also produced a short documentary video about Lozano.

 

Make a donation of $100 or more by Dec. 31 and we’ll send you a copy of “The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use 'Plain English’ to Rob You Blind” by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, author and Public Press supporter David Cay Johnston.


 

The People Behind the Press: You

Dear readers,

It’s that time of year again. So, on behalf of all the nonprofits contacting you this week, thank you for reading our appeals and supporting our efforts.

I am asking you to make a year-end donation to the San Francisco Public Press because I know you care about public-interest news.

You care about in-depth analysis of local public policy.

You care about independent, watchdog reporting that holds government and other powerful interests accountable.

You care about your community and about making sure someone is listening for those voices not amplified by status or wealth.

You care about data-driven reporting that requires time, patience and attention to detail.

You care that the Public Press is dedicated to producing this kind of journalism while commercial outlets eliminate investigative teams and neglect stories that take more than a day to report.

As a nonprofit news organization, we fund our work through foundation grants, newspaper sales and, most importantly, membership donations from readers like you.

You care, and we care. Help the Public Press continue to serve our community with serious reporting on topics that are important to you. Please consider joining or renewing your membership today.

Thank you for your generous support. Best wishes to you this holiday season.

Warmest regards,

Lila LaHood

Publisher

Give the gift of membership

It's a great time of year to invite a friend to join the Public Press family with a gift membership. Basic membership starts at $35 a year and includes free admission to member events, plus home delivery of the next four editions of the newspaper.

gift

Plus, if you join, renew, buy a gift membership or make a donation at the $100 level by Dec. 31, we’ll send you a copy of “The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use ’Plain English’ to Rob You Blind” by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, author and Public Press supporter David Cay Johnston.

 

 

 

 

Purchase your gift membership by Dec. 24 so we can notify your designated recipient by Dec. 25. The recipient will receive a personalized gift certificate by email. Simply write "gift membership" plus the recipient's name and email address in the instructions field during checkout via PayPal. 

The People Behind the Press: The Analyst

We want you to know what you’re getting for your donation by introducing you to some of the talented freelance writers, editors, photographers and multimedia journalists who make our newspaper possible. Join or renew your membership now to make sure that our journalists can continue to bring you more serious public-interest reporting in 2014.

The Analyst: Jeremy Adam Smith

Jeremy Adam Smith conducts his reporting with patience, persistence and an open mind, and uncovers nuanced stories that other journalists overlook.

As a freelance reporter for the Public Press, Jeremy crafts stories that explain complex situations and resonate with readers. He is the lead reporter on our upcoming project on education inequality in San Francisco public schools.

“No other publication in San Francisco has the same depth, integrity, and seriousness,” Jeremy says. “At no other publication can I write the kinds of stories that I do for the Public Press.”

Jeremy has worked with the Public Press since Issue No. 1; he proposed the idea for the first special reporting project, a multifaceted examination of redevelopment plans to turn Treasure Island into an “ecotopian dream” of sustainable urban living. He later reported on the decline of media outlets and journalism jobs in the Bay Area, and on new ideas in juvenile justice being tried in San Francisco public schools.

Jeremy is the full-time Web editor for the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, a former John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, and the author and coeditor of several books on parenting and fatherhood.

With his broad background in journalism and academia, Jeremy brings a perspective informed by insights from trends in education and social science research — a perfect pairing for the Public Press’ data-driven reporting methods.

 

Make a donation of $100 or more by Dec. 31 and we’ll send you a copy of “The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use 'Plain English’ to Rob You Blind” by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, author and Public Press supporter David Cay Johnston.

And remember that a Public Press membership makes a great holiday gift!​

 

The People Behind the Press: The Skeptic

We’re grateful for support that we’ve received this past year. We want you to know what you’re getting for your donation by introducing you to some of the talented freelance writers, editors, photographers and multimedia journalists who make our newspaper possible. Make a donation today to make sure that our journalists can continue to bring you more serious public-interest reporting in 2014.

The Skeptic: Michele Anderson

Michele Anderson brings her dry wit, prodigious vocabulary and keen editorial eye to her work at the San Francisco Public Press.

As print edition editor, Michele contributes to the Public Press in ways that extend far beyond her title. With a background in law, journalism and nonprofits, she wears many hats in our growing organization.

Michele manages our partner team, which selects content from our nonprofit media partners to publish on sfpublicpress.org and in our quarterly print edition. When selecting partner content to highlight, Michele says, I first ask myself, do any stories address 'hot' issues and do they have local impact? Partner stories about Google buses, affordable housing, the tech renaissance, sex trafficking, cooking in SROs, rising seas near Ocean Beach and zombie bees have all found their way onto the Public Press website and print edition. I choose important stories that affect the lives of people living in the Bay Area.

As a self-professed “news hack,” Michele is perfect for her work at the Public Press: “I love news, facts, info — and I am addicted to keeping up with what is going on in the community.” As our most experienced copy editor, Michele catches tough-to-spot errors in grammar and usage, questions assumptions and encourages reporters to consider alternative perspectives.

In the newsroom, we appreciate Michele for her enthusiasm and her versatility. Whatever needs to be done, she is willing to roll up her sleeves and pitch in. When deadlines loom and stress fills the newsroom, Michele has a way of livening things up with her positive energy and humor.  

The People Behind the Press: The Public Records Hound

Journalism that changes public policy takes hard work and resources. Your membership in the Public Press helps inform the community about life-and-death issues affecting tens of thousands of San Francisco and Bay Area residents. We’re grateful for support that we’ve received and want to let you know what you’re getting for your donation by introducing you to some of the talented freelance writers, editors, photographers and multimedia journalists who make our newspaper possible. Make a donation today to make sure that our journalists can continue to bring you more serious public-interest reporting in 2014.

The Public Records Hound: Noah Arroyo

Around the newsroom, Noah Arroyo is known for his persistence. “Camping out at someone’s office is an effective, though time-consuming, way to get a source to talk,” he says. “I've learned that the politicians who avoid my phone calls are usually the ones from whom I'll get something interesting – and that, if I do my job well, they'll evade me far less for the next article.”

Noah has worked on three team projects, including “Bracing for the Big One,” in partnership with veteran reporter Barbara Grady, which exposed an obscure list of 3,000 soft-story buildings that San Francisco officials thought to be potentially at risk in the next earthquake. Noah grilled city officials for months about why no effort had been made to contact those building owners and tenants.

After graduating from San Francisco State University in 2010, Noah cut his teeth as a beat reporter at Mission Local before coming to work with the Public Press, where he says he finds the opportunity to delve deeply into an issue rewarding. “Because we take months to fashion long stories on complex topics, Public Press reporters become mini-experts on things that other news outlets don’t often cover.” When researching a story, Noah has found that the most useful thing to say to an expert is, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, and I would love to understand it. Can you break it down for me?”

Noah's reporting has led to guest appearances on several local radio talk shows, including KQED’s “Forum.” Last month he appeared on KPFA’s “The Morning Mix” with Executive Director Michael Stoll to talk about the findings of his latest project, “Help Wanted: San Francisco’s Workforce Reboot,” examining dysfunction in San Francisco’s workforce development system.

Help us to hire more freelance journalists to do in-depth reporting on under-covered issues. Now is an opportune time to join the Public Press. Make a donation of $100 or more before the new year and we’ll send you a copy of a great example of muckraking investigative reporting — “The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use ‘Plain English’ to Rob You Blind” by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, author and Public Press enthusiast David Cay Johnston.

THANK YOU from the San Francisco Public Press

From all of us at the Public Press, thank you for your encouragement and engagement. Every time we hear from one of our readers, it reminds us that our watchdog reporting efforts are appreciated.

We are especially grateful for all the financial support we’ve received from you this year. Member contributions are a cornerstone of our funding model and essential to sustaining our newsroom operations. Thank you for supporting in-depth, public-interest journalism in San Francisco.

The Fine PrintWith your support over the past year, the Public Press has brought you stories that no other news outlet in San Francisco is delivering. By digging into public records, we've uncovered stories about minimum wage violations and the efficacy of workforce development programs in San Francisco, as well as the challenges of enforcing California's newly implemented cap-and-trade policies. Our next project, looking into the impact of parent fundraising in San Francisco's public schools, is underway.

If you’re not a current member, now is a great time to join or renew. Make a donation of $100 or more before the new year, and as a thank-you gift we will send you a copy of “The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use ‘Plain English’ to Rob You Blind” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author David Cay Johnston. In the book, David investigates how phone and cable companies get away with charging customers more by incrementally adding hidden fees to utility bills. Last year we published an excerpt — How the Profits Upkeep Commission Helps PG&E Pick Your Pocket — which you can read on our website. 

David also happens to be a longtime supporter and member of the San Francisco Public Press. He says, “I contribute to the Public Press because San Francisco needs serious journalism about issues that affect the quality of life.”

We hope you agree. Support the Public Press by making a donation today.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the Public Press!

Support what's brewing at the Public Press

I’m pleased to tell you that we will be publishing the fall edition of the San Francisco Public Press — Issue No. 12 — in just two weeks, featuring an in-depth report on the effectiveness of San Francisco’s workforce development programs. 

As always, we want to say thank you to our current members. We appreciate your support.

If you need to join or renew your membership, now is the time! Today we are kicking off our fall membership drive. Our goal is to add 30 members by Sept. 27. We hope you'll take this opportunity to renew your membership, join for the first time, or upgrade your existing membership.

Do it now and you will receive the next four quarterly issues of the newspaper delivered right to your door.

As a thank-you, we'd like to send you some coffee to go with your newspaper. Become a member or make a donation of $35 or more through Sept. 27, and we will send you a pound of organic, fair trade coffee beans roasted in San Francisco by Nomadic Ground.

Higher-level memberships come with additional benefits, including our newly designed T-shirt sporting our updated logo, available in gray or orange.

We can’t wait for you to see the new issue. I hope you'll show us your support by joining or renewing today.

Thank you, thank you, for reading and supporting the San Francisco Public Press!

Warmest regards,
Shinwha Whang
Membership Manager

Bring on the sunshine!

Summer is as good as here in San Francisco, which means it’s time for the San Francisco Public Press to kick off its Sunshine Membership Drive.

Bring on the sunshine!

As you dust off your barbecue grill and start packing your Memorial Day picnic, we hope you’ll take a moment to send a little sunshine our way — by becoming a member or renewing your membership.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of our current members! Your support makes our work possible.

The journalists here at the Public Press are hard at work to bring you our next print edition's special reporting project on California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For a preview of the project read Chantal Jolagh’s recent story, “California Environmentalists Decry Governor’s Raid on Cap-and-Trade Dollars.”

Pledge now, and you’ll become a member just in time to receive Issue No. 11, coming in mid-June. You’ll also be invited to our quarterly member mixer later in the month.

Membership begins at $35 a year and offers a range of benefits, including home delivery of the next four issues. Visit sfpublicpress.org/membership for more details.

So, bring on the sunshine and become a member today!

Warmest thanks,

Shinwha Whang

Membership Manager

San Francisco Public Press

(Sunrise photo from Shutterstock.)

Syndicate content