Surviving the Pandemic: The Future of Local Media

The Public Press hosted a discussion April 30 exploring news media challenges facing community journalism before and during the crisis and how the future will require more diverse and sustainable business models that don’t rely exclusively on advertising. Our panelist were:

Martin Reynolds, co-executive director of the Maynard Institute
Michael Stoll, executive director, San Francisco Public Press

The discussion was moderated by Gina Baleria, assistant professor of communications & media studies at Sonoma State University, and host of the new podcast “News in Context,” that explores media bias and how information is delivered and consumed. It airs on KSFP 102.5 FM Fridays at 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Watch a full recording of the conversation.

Coronavirus Scams and How to Avoid Them

The Public Press hosted a conversation April 9 to help the community understand how to identify and prevent phone and email scams that target the vulnerable — the elderly, people who are isolated or who have limited digital literacy. Our panelist were:

Chesa Boudin, San Francisco District Attorney
Shawna Reeves, Director of the Elder Abuse Prevention program at the Institute on Aging
Glen Fishman, Senior Program Coordinator for Elder Abuse Prevention at the Institute on Aging

The event was moderated by Laura Wenus, host of “Civic,” the Public Press’ daily news and public affairs radio show and podcast. RESOURCES AND LINKS
San Francisco District Attorney’s Office

District Attorney’s Office website
Overview of Covid-19 Scams
Victim Services Division — 628-652-4100
Consumer Hotline — 415-551-9595

How the Elderly Can Stay Connected

Friendship Line — and 800-971-0016
Covia — This community-based nonprofit has two programs: Well Connected offers activities and educational programs via phone, and Social Call matches volunteers with seniors for social conversations — and 925-956-7400
Little Brothers, Friends of the Elderly — and 415-771-7957

Sign Up for Alerts

AARP Fraud Watch Network
Better Business Bureau — Tips on COVID-19
U.S. Deptartment of Justice — coronavirus fraud and scams
U.S. Federal Trade Commission — avoiding coronavirus scams

Reporting Scams

San Francisco District Attorney’s Office hotline to report scams — 415-551-9595
Adult Protective Services — 415-355-6700 or the city’s Human Services Agency

Legal Assistance

Legal Assistance to the Elderly — 415-538-3333
Open Door Legal — 415-735-4124
Housing and Economic Rights Advocates — 510-271-8443
California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform — 415-974-5171
San Francisco Bar Association — 415-989-1616

Additional Resources

California Department of Business Oversight — 866-275-2677
“Be Vigilant Against Scams and Unlawful Activities Seeking to Exploit Heightened Economic Anxieties​” — from the California Department of Business Oversight
“Resources on Gender-Based Violence during COVID-19 Crisis”— from San Francisco’s Department on the Status of Women
Listen to a recent “Civic” show featuring Glen Fishman from the Institute on Aging

Watch a full recording of the conversation.

Neighborhood Meets Challenge: How S.F.’s Sunset Organized for Pandemic Aid

The Public Press hosted a conversation April 3 with Sunset Neighborhood Help Group founders Frank Plughoff, Bianca Nandzik and Stefan Nandzik about how they are coordinating a dynamic volunteer network to connect with elderly and at-risk neighbors who need help buying groceries and running errands during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meka Boyle, who first reported on the Sunset neighborhood’s call for mutual aid,  also participated in the panel, which was moderated by our publisher, Lila LaHood. Watch a full recording of the conversation.

The Role of Art in a Period of Political Turmoil

A group of local artists has organized an art show and public discussion about the intersection of art and politics. “The Role of Art in a Period of Political Turmoil” runs through Nov. 30. To celebrate the launch, there will be two events held at Spark Arts Gallery, 4229 18th St., in San Francisco:
Opening Reception Thursday, Nov. 7, 6 to 9 p.m.
“Art as Activism,” a panel discussion co-hosted by Manny’s Tuesday, Nov.

laura mel audio

Introducing the Audio Team

To help launch our audio division and low-power FM radio station, we are excited to announce two new additions to the Public Press newsroom. The station’s inaugural news and public affairs program, “Civic,” will be produced by Mel Baker and hosted by Laura Wenus, who bring a breadth of multimedia experience and will lead a team reporting on local policies, culture and ideas. “Civic” will debut this month on your favorite podcast app and on KSFP 102.5 FM in San Francisco. Baker has worked as a national network and Bay Area broadcaster for many decades. From early training in National Public Radio’s newscast unit, to stints in the newsrooms of KGO radio and KTVU-TV, and as a news anchor and reporter at KALW and other Bay Area stations, he has embraced the responsibility of broadcast media to “enlighten and inform” the community.

David Cohn Leads the Public Press Board

In January, the Public Press board of directors elected nationally recognized journalism innovator David Cohn as its chair. David replaces independent filmmaker Marc Smolowitz, who stepped down after having expertly guided the board through its incorporation in 2009. Both David and Marc helped start planning for the Public Press in 2007. David, who lives in Berkeley, has dedicated his career to journalism in unconventional ways. He founded Spot.Us and Circa, which pioneered crowdfunding and mobile journalism respectively.

3rd John Swett Award from the California Teachers Association

The California Teachers Association honored the San Francisco Public Press with a John Swett Award for Media Excellence on Friday, June 2. Jeremy Adam Smith, who was the lead reporter for the special report on bilingual schools, attended the awards ceremony in Los Angeles. This is the third time the Public Press has received a John Swett Award for education reporting led by Smith. Left to right: United Educators of San Francisco President Lita Blanc, CTA Vice President Theresa Montano, Jeremy Adam Smith, CTA State Council Communications Committee Chair Mona Davidson, CTA President Eric Heins and CTA Secretary-Treasurer David Goldberg. Photo courtesy of California Teachers Association.

Meet Our Staff Editors

Our newsroom editing team works with dozens of freelance reporters, editors, photographers, illustrators, designers and interns to guide our in-depth stories uncovering public policy problems and investigating solutions. Michael Winter, Senior Editor

“Vietnam, Nixon and Watergate had exhausted the country, and Jimmy Carter was president when I wandered into journalism, first in college radio, then newspapers. Since then, I’ve reported, edited, blogged, done press checks; worked at major metro and national dailies; helped get SF Weekly off the ground; helped publish a magazine; adopted early to digital news; taught editing; trained staffs overseas. I’ve been part of the Public Press since Day One. “My role in the newsroom is to make writers’ lives difficult, unfortunately.

Meet Our Newest Board Member: Kaizar Campwala

“Local journalism matters. The Public Press is a standout example of a team that doesn’t compromise in their mission to hold local government to account. At the same time, they approach their job of informing citizens with an openness to think outside the box and cut through the noise that overwhelms media consumers today.”
— Kaizar Campwala

Kaizar is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Al Jazeera Digital, where he is launching a new, audio-focused media brand later this year. He previously helped develop CALmatters, which he helped develop from an idea to a fully-funded operation as president and co-founder. The Sacramento-based reporting venture focuses on explaining the policy and politics of California state government.