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Daphne Magnawa's blog

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. Later he became an “intrapreneur” for Al Jazeera, helping to launch AJ+. Currently he directs the R&D team of Advance Digital.

“I've been involved with the Public Press since it was just an idea,” he said. “I’ve always been impressed with the determination, ethics and quality that permeate the entire organization, from top to bottom. I'm humbled to be the chair of the board, and I expect great things in the coming year for the organization. The Public Press has a ton under its belt already, and the current media environment demands more from the journalism community.”

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. So many questions! Comments! Revisions! We work a story hard, digging for as much detail, context and insight as possible. I’m a bit like a camera lens that both zooms in to macro and pulls back to wide angle, all the while looking for what might be obscured or hidden (X-ray glasses come in handy).”

Noah Arroyo, Assistant Editor & Lead Reporter

“We’re always looking for deep insights — generally, that entails a lot of digging for empirical evidence. To get that, we regularly seek out and pester experts and government officials, camping out in front of their offices when necessary. On many days I’ve set a recurring alarm on my phone, reminding me to call a source again and again until I reach them.

“That’s how we get the insider’s perspective. That’s how we get the data that allows us to create spreadsheets and charts mapping out the complex anatomy of a topic. After getting this broad view, we ask ourselves which aspects would be most important to readers.”

Our Interns: Sarah Asch, Zach Benjamin and Hannah Kaplan

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. government. Before that, Kaizar was director of content and partnerships at Stitcher, the leading independent mobile podcast app; and managing editor of NewsTrust, a news aggregator focused on crowdsourcing authoritative journalism. He began his career developing communications solutions for the City of New York. He earned an A.B. in political science from Brown University, and an MBA from UCLA.

We are Hiring!

The San Francisco Public Press is looking for enthusiastic news ambassadors for our community outreach team. Are you interested? Do you know someone we should hire?

This job entails selling or giving away newspapers at public events and outdoor venues with high foot traffic, canvassing and introducing the Public Press to new audiences. We will need people days and evenings during the week, and during the day on weekends.

We are looking for people who are:

  • fun, outgoing and passionate about news
  • have a strong interest in local, independent, in-depth journalism
  • enjoy being outside and interacting with a wide range of people
  • can be on your feet for 3-4 hours at a time

Pay is $15/hour. If you are interested, send an email to Daphne Magnawa, Director of Membership & Community at jobs[at]sfpublicpress[dot]org.

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