Former Public Press Journalist Reflects on Covering S.F. Affordability Crisis

Journalist Angela Woodall looks back on her reporting for the Public Press on the deep, but then not immediately visible effects of San Francisco’s affordability crisis, and how campaign ad language made its way into news coverage during the 2015 election. “It comes with the territory of the San Francisco Public Press that whatever reporting you’re doing is going to look beneath the surface and have a much deeper dive on whatever topic it is.” – Journalist Angela Woodall
 

The Team That Created KSFP Radio and ‘Civic’

The San Francisco Public Press received support and assistance from many people who helped us secure our low-power FM construction permit from the FCC, raise funds for the project, develop the “Civic” show concept and launch the KSFP broadcast on 102.5 FM in San Francisco. More than 60 audiophiles attended our first radio-brainstorming meeting in September 2016. Over time, a small group coalesced into a steering committee withsupporting volunteers. We appreciate everyone who joined us and shared their inspiring ideas. From left: George Koster, Linda Jue, Megan Maurer, John Dillon
In particular, we thank Josh Wilson for encouraging us to apply for the construction permit: We wouldn’t be on air today without his enthusiastic nudging and guidance.

“Civic” Launch Party Recap

Nearly 100 people joined us Monday, Aug. 19, at the Impact Hub San Francisco to celebrate and learn about “Civic,” our marquee daily show and podcast focusing on local news and public affairs — now broadcasting Monday through Friday at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on KSFP 102.5 FM in San Francisco. KSFP – new San Francisco FM radio station launch event
Posted by San Francisco Public Press on Monday, August 19, 2019

 
The evening included a preview of the show and podcast, and introductions to our audio team, including host and reporter Laura Wenus, producer Mel Baker and many of the people who helped us get on the air. Laura interviewed special guests Eugenia Chien, co-founder of Muni Diaries, and Peter Clarke, podcast producer for the transit story sharing community. The conversation was recorded and will be featured in a future episode of “Civic.”
 
Laura Wenus (left) talked with Eugenia Chien and Peter Clarke about the broad assortment of stories they’ve shared via Muni Diaries.

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.

Noah Arroyo Discusses Veritas Lawsuit on “Your Call”

Noah Arroyo, assistant editor for the San Francisco Public Press, was a guest this morning on “Your Call” on KALW 91.7 FM. He spoke with host Rose Aguilar about his reporting on a tenant lawsuit against Veritas, one of San Francisco’s biggest landlords. Listen to the conversation here. The segment featuring Noah begins about 37 minutes into the program. Live now on Your Call’s media roundtable: we’re discussing anti-abortion legislation across the country, the Trump administration’s attack on the Title X family planning program, and the impact of the Global Gag Rule on women’s health around the world We will also talk about California’s affordable housing crisis and a lawsuit against Veritas, San Francisco’s biggest landlord.

A Decade of Defying Downward Expectations

In February 2009, our freshly launched website featured just a handful of stories. So, we were surprised when a reporter from the Wall Street Journal called wanting to know whether the San Francisco Public Press, which was planning to officially launch in March, was going to “replace” the San Francisco Chronicle. Facing falling revenues (it said it lost $50 million the previous year) and a protracted labor dispute, Hearst Corp. said that unless it was able to make steep staff reductions within weeks, it would sell the paper or, if no buyer emerged, close it. The threat earned national headlines, and though the Chronicle remained open for business, it lost many good reporters and editors.

Live From the Issue 27 Launch Party

Thanks to everyone who joined us Wednesday, March 20, at The Green Arcade to celebrate the launch of Issue 27, featuring reporting on a lawsuit filed against San Francisco’s largest landlord, the city’s “privacy-first policy” mandated by voter-approved Proposition B, and claims by environmentalists that fast-track housing policy talks did not include them — plus a first-hand account of San Francisco’s biennial homeless point-in-time count. You can watch the whole program here.

Journalism and the Arc of Social Justice

A panel of experts and stakeholders explained the state of the homelessness crisis at our January 2018 event, Solving Homelessness: a Community Workshop, an event that overlapped with our continuing print and online coverage of the issue. Photo by Garrick Wong // San Francisco Public Press/Renaissance Journalism
 
We honestly didn’t expect the issue of homelessness in San Francisco to find resolution anytime soon. But this fall, with November’s passage of Proposition C — the business tax that could generate as much as $300 million a year for housing and homeless services — we saw the search for solutions jump off the pages of newspapers and into the real world. Over the last year and a half, the Public Press has returned again and again to investigating broken systems for providing housing and social services. We have explored creative ideas from community members who are bent on solving the ongoing humanitarian crisis on our streets.

Against the Algorithm

Lila LaHood, publisher, and Michael Stoll, executive director. Photo by Daphne Magnawa // San Francisco Public Press
Though the newspaper and sfpublicpress.org are still the main ways we communicate with readers, like many news organizations we’re always looking ahead toward changes in how people consume local news. We recently tried a new way of connecting directly with readers craving insider info on city politics: Project Text, a two-month pilot in partnership with the Alpha Group at Advance Digital. We deployed veteran political reporter Joe Eskenazi to serve up daily text message tidbits — and several scoops! — around the June election.