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News Quiz Night on Sept. 27!

Are you a pub quiz pro? A local news junkie? Show off your big brain and support local public-interest journalism — come to News Quiz Night, a zany, interactive fundraiser for the San Francisco Public Press! Purchase tickets here:


to our sponsors who have donated products or services to 

News Quiz Night, a fundraiser for the San Francisco Public Press!

If you would like to contribute quiz contest prizes or items for the silent auction, please email

San Francisco National Maritime Museum

Exygy Web + Mobile

Andrea Carla Michaels

Bi-Rite Market

The Booksmith

Cal Shakes

California Academy of Sciences

Charles Michael Photography

Christopher's Books

Contemporary Jewish Museum

Doc's of the Bay


Fins on the Hoof

 Green Apple Books

The Green Arcade

Iliana Montauk

 Little Green Cyclo

Magnolia Pub and Brewery

Maryann Hrichak

 Namu Gaji

Real Food Company

San Francisco Ballet

Skylite Snowballs

Voodoo Van

Yelp if you need HELP!





Behind the Scenes: News Partnerships

The Public Press partners with more than 30 nonprofit news and civic organizations to expand our coverage of community issues. We feature news reporting, edited text from radio programs, graphics and photos from these partners on and in our quarterly ad-free newspaper. 

We talked about partnerships recently with Lydia Chávez, managing editor at Mission Local, a bilingual nonprofit news outlet covering San Francisco's Mission District.

Why does Mission Local share stories with the Public Press and collaborate on reporting, as it did in a story about extended Mission District bus detours?

The Public Press is invaluable in getting information to the public. Even in the digital age there are simply people you don't reach online and news should be consumed as widely as possible. We too put out a print edition and find that some of those who become digital readers, first find us first in print.

How can nonprofit news operations fill some of the gaps left by the commercial press?

 They can play a tremendous role, but they need the public's support. News gathering takes time and people. The pieces that appear in the Public Press represent a lot of time and care by editors and reporters who are working for very little money. If we truly believe in a democracy, nonprofits like the Public Press should be supported by foundations and individuals. We all benefit by having a more informed populace.

Thank you to all of our nonprofit partners for working with us to share more context-rich, public-interest journalism with communities throughout the Bay Area

The Bay Citizen, Bay Nature, California Watch, California Northern Magazine, Central City Extra, KALW News: Crosscurrents Radio, KALW: Philosophy Talk, KALW: Your Call, KPFA, City Visions Radio, KQED: The California Report, KQED News, KQED Forum, Mission Local, National Radio Project, New America Media, Shareable, Spot.Us, Center for Public Integrity, Mother Jones, El Tecolote, San Francisco Neighborhood Newspaper Association, Oakland Local, PBS MediaShift, Consumerist Union: Consumerist blog, Creosote Journal, Earth Island Journal, Center for Investigative Reporting, Public Policy Institute of California, Commonwealth Club of California, World Affairs Council of Northern California

Support local public media by becoming a member of the Public Press today. For $35, your annual membership will include copies of the newspaper, invitations to special member events and other perks. 

Public Press wins national award


The San Francisco Public Press has won an award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. Last month, the group recognized our reporters and editors with a national Prevention for a Safer Society award for their articles on experiments in San Francisco with “restorative justice,” an alternative method for dealing with youth misbehavior in schools. 

The series, produced in collaboration with the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C., delved into alternative, nonpunitive routes that the city’s schools are taking to mediate conflict among students and prevent suspensions and expulsions.

In the lead story, “Bucking a punitive trend, San Francisco lets students own up to misdeeds instead of getting kicked out of school,” lead reporter Jeremy Adam Smith revealed that through innovative new approaches involving counseling and confronting peers, San Francisco schools achieved some of the lowest expulsion rates in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Public Press reporter T.J. Johnston and editors Rich Pestorich and Michael Stoll, as well as the Center for Public Integrity’s Susan Ferris, also received recognition for their work on the report.

Behind the Scenes: Meet the Director of Design

Tom Guffey, director of design, has a key role in conceptualizing the layout of the Public Press print editions. Here's his perspective on the creative process.

What do you enjoy most about designing the print edition?

What I love about designing the newspaper is that it is catered to a more patient and deliberative reader. We are not under pressure to put fluff and flotsam on our pages. Also, we are still changing and growing as a publication, which makes it easier to play with different formats and styles.

The Public Press doesn't accept any paid advertising. Does that give you more room to experiment with design?

One of the surprising things I've discovered in designing an ad-free newspaper is that in some ways it's harder. Our design and layout have to stand on their own. On the plus side, every page is better-looking and easier to read. The negative side — for the designers at least — is that there are no "easy" pages.

The front page is an index of everything you are going to find inside the newspaper. You can literally judge our book by our cover.

What interests you about newspaper design?

I fell in love with newspaper design working at my college newspaper and reading Tim Harrower's amazing books on editorial design. What I love about it is the mixture of substance and style. You're giving people vital information for life, but trying to do it in a way that's interesting. It's the fundamental challenge that all journalists face whether they're writers, photographers, or something else — our job is to make the important things interesting.

Become a member today. For just $35, your annual membership will include copies of the newspaper, invitations to special member events and other perks. To acknowledge your contribution, we will publish your name in every print edition for one year.

Behind the Scenes: Production of Issue No. 7

Step into the Public Press newsroom where reporters and editors are preparing to publish Issue No. 7 — coming next month. Michael Stoll, executive director, explains the thinking behind the 16-page, ad-free, broadsheet.

What is distinct about the print edition?

The Public Press is, as far as we know, the largest circulation nonprofit newspaper in California. As a community-funded news organization, we pride ourselves on strident independence from the powerful in business, government and other sectors. We are able to go deeper than many mainstream news outlets because we're not focused on maximizing profits.

The special section of the next edition focuses on smart growth. Why did the Public Press decide to report on this issue?

We've seen terms like smart growth bandied about by government planners, academics, developers and activists, but there's little consensus on what these ideas actually mean. Many news outlets have covered individual developments or public meetings, failing to consider the big picture. Bay Area regional planning is becoming very controversial. A team of seven reporters, two graphic designers and two photographers is exploring a region-wide political firestorm that could derail planned transit-oriented developments and walkable communities in all nine Bay Area counties.

How can people support the newspaper?

The Public Press was founded on the example of public broadcasting, which relies primarily on cultivating small donors. We need community support to continue to provide freecoverage of local public affairs on our website and distribute the paper below cost across the region. All individual donations go into developing unique editorial projects that have public impact.

Please consider becoming a member or making a donation, so we can continue to publish public-interest news stories online and in print.

Become a member today! For just $35, your annual membership will include copies of the newspaper, invitations to special member events and other perks. To acknowledge your contribution, we will publish your name in every print edition for one year.

Follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook for updates about the next print edition.

‘Dan Rather Reports’: San Francisco Public Press, others, face IRS roadblock

Last week’s edition of “Dan Rather Reports” featured a revelatory 13-minute report on the San Francisco Public Press and a handful of other nonprofit journalism startups around the country whose nonprofit status has been held up at the Internal Revenue Service for months.

The segment, “Taxing News,” (April 10 edition, “The Queen of Green” — download in iTunes for $1.99 or by subscription on Xfinity by Comcast) examined the Public Press’ 27-month-long struggle to be named an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Help us Zoom in on Important Local Stories

We hope you are having a wonderful holiday season. With less than a week left in 2011, we are in the final stretch of our end-of-year fundraising drive.

Please help the San Francisco Public Press flourish as an independent news source. Every dollar you donate up to $3,000 will be matched by our board of directors through Dec. 31.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far during this campaign. We need just $830 to reach our goal, so please donate today!

Jason Winshell, Photo editor

For twice the buzz, use the Public Press to make an origami dragonfly.

Which story have you enjoyed working on the most?

I have a strong interest in human rights, so a story I enjoyed working on concerned the San Francisco Police Department's use of human trafficking grant money to do street sweeps of prostitutes in the Polk Gulch neighborhood. The story took months to research and served as my initiation into investigative journalism. I plan to continue reporting on the topic.

Why should people support public media like the Public Press?

Public media is beholden to no one. It covers stories that go neglected and promotes accountability and justice. An informed public is essential to formulating rational public policy, coming up with sensible solutions to problems and shaping a government that works for everyone.

Monica Jensen, Multimedia editor and reporter

Capture attention with an origami camera.

When did you join the Public Press?

I got involved back in 2009, when it was an online-only news outlet. I started off by taking photos, but quickly got more involved with other reporting projects as it evolved.

What's one memorable project you've worked on?

The City Budget Watchdog series was one of Public Press' first big projects. The overall impact of the series and the discussions the stories inspired gave me a lot of faith in this profession and organization. Plus, it was my first, and you never forget your first.

Why should people support the Public Press?

The organization has accomplished a lot in a short period of time and with limited resources. Additional and ongoing support will yield more in-depth coverage of issues in San Francisco that impact lives.

Consider making a year-end donation today and help the Public Press deliver quality local journalism in San Francisco.

Donate to Help us Fish for Public-Interest News

We hope you are enjoying hearing from some of the key people involved with the San Francisco Public Press. Today our series continues with two intrepid beat reporters who lead our coverage on housing & homelessness and transportation.

Please become a member, so we can continue reporting stories that matter to the community. Our board of directors will match donations up to $3,000 until Dec. 31!

Make a boat like Jerold Chinn's (right) or a fish like T.J. Johnston's (left).

T.J. Johnston, Housing & Homelessness beat reporter

How did you become interested in this topic?

In 2000, I took an intro to journalism class at Media Alliance. We did an investigative piece on nonprofits that serve homeless and impoverished people through city contracts. Only, these nonprofits paid their executives six-figure salaries. The story ran in a zine published by the Raising Our Voices program at Media Alliance, Street Sheet and Street Spirit. I started focusing on housing and poverty issues after that.

What have you learned from covering your beat?

I've become more aware of the civil and human rights components inherent in homelessness. Any coverage on homelessness benefits from information that is truthful and accurate, as well as inclusive of the homeless community. Media that provide such coverage, like the Public Press, deserve support.

Jerold Chinn, Transportation beat reporter

Why do you enjoy writing about Muni?

I'm always learning something new about Muni, whether I'm muninjudahlearning about sander hoses or how the Muni Metro operates. Through my reporting, I'm able to provide riders who can’t attend Muni meetings the latest news about service delays, budget plans, upcoming projects and other important announcements.

How would additional funding help with your coverage?

It would give me time and resources to do more investigative pieces. I would also be able to add more visual elements to my stories, as I did with my video series “Can S.F.'s next mayor save Muni?” which included interviews with almost all of the mayoral candidates on their positions on the city’s transportation system.


Consider making a year-end donation today and help the Public Press expand regular beat coverage of important topics like homelessness and transportation in San Francisco.

Leapfrogging the Commercial Press

Thanks to everyone who became a member this week! Your donations were doubled through our end-of-year matching grant. If you haven't already, we hope you'll consider becoming a member. Your contributions will be matched by our board of directors dollar for dollar up to $3,000 through Dec. 31.

Please become a member today.

Board member Maryann Hrichak explains why she supports the Public Press

Don't you love newspapers? Here are instructions on how to make your own origami frog!

What do you enjoy most about being on the board of directors?

I enjoy talking about the Public Press with people in the community and thinking about ways to get the paper out there. I also enjoy the camaraderie of the board. It's the first board of directors in which I've ever participated. I love seeing the progress of the organization each time the board meets.

What have you learned?

All about the hard work and dedication it takes to actually make this organization run. And how good news is hard to come by. It’s been great to work with such a committed and dedicated group of people who also like to have fun and contribute important, relevant and timely news for people in the Bay Area.

Why should people support the Public Press?

Because their journalism is excellent and the issues they report on are not covered as indepth anywhere else, to my knowledge. This is a good organization to call your own, especially if you live in San Francisco.

Why do you support public media?

All kinds of public media are important to our daily lives, especially in a place like the Bay Area. You get some of the best views and critical news from those who are involved with public media and helping to make it really work. Your perspective is broadened and you learn a lot.

What's the best way to get involved?

is important not only for the special benefits you get as a member; it also gives the organization a steady financial base so the editors and reporters can focus on doing good journalism. Members also get to meet other members at special events, share common interests and concerns, and feel like they are part of something much larger than themselves.

Please consider making a donation today.

Double Your Donation to Independent Media!

Great news! Our board of directors will match your donations up to $3,000 now through Dec. 31, 2011. Your gift will help the Public Press continue to do serious reporting on important under-covered stories in San Francisco. Please become a member today.

We Don’t Duck Important Stories

Our news editor, Rich Pestorich, who has worked in Bay Area journalism since 1987, asks you to support the Public Press this holiday season.

Why did you join the Public Press?

I liked the idea of it being a startup. We are covering areas other newspapers and news organizations aren’t. The whole idea of nonprofit, noncommercial news is intriguing.

What’s the best part of your job?

I like the variety of stories and people I get to work with — a lot of people come through here with a range of talents. It’s interesting to see how they attack stories. It’s also been fun to help guide young journalists and help them improve their reporting

Newspapers are fun! Click here for instructions to make your own origami duck.

Why quarterly newspapers?

This is a good, old-fashioned broadsheet that has a good mix of stories with our own original investigative and explanatory reporting along with reports from news partners. It’s a unique array that you can’t find anywhere else.

So, the Public Press also publishes stories from more than two-dozen Bay Area news and civic organizations. Why?

A lot of these organizations don’t have a print outlet. They only publish online, so people who don’t have regular access to the Internet don’t have a chance to see those stories. That’s one of the things we offer with print — we help bring important news to underserved communities.

Why would you encourage someone to become a member of the Public Press?

Membership gives people an opportunity to be involved with the Public Press and with journalism in general. We’re not making decisions in some far-off boardroom. We’re making them right here on Mission Street in San Francisco. Members are always welcome to visit our newsroom and share their ideas with us.

Your donation to the Public Press will expand our ability to hire freelance writers and editors to cover under-reported stories in San Francisco and beyond. Consider making a year-end donation today.

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