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Public Press Reporting on School Segregation Inspires Broad Media Coverage

Editor’s note: Over the past several months, we have been gathering reporting that follows up on our coverage of segregation in San Francisco’s public schools. The latest pickup was a three-part series in the San Francisco Chronicle starting Sunday. Read more about it here.  
San Francisco Public Press’ reporting package on school re-segregation has sparked conversation about race and education. A March 27 article in the Washington Post’s Wonkblog draws heavily from the Public Press to discuss the national implications of school choice.

Sea Level Rise Shapes Future of Bay Area Waterfront Development

Sea level rise threatens tens of billions of dollars worth of new waterfront development in the Bay Area — but there may be time to adapt. That was the message at Tuesday’s panel on sea level rise hosted by the San Francisco Public Press at the Impact Hub, a co-working space. Panelists included UC Berkeley professor Kristina Hill, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Climate Program Director David Behar and Public Press reporter Kevin Stark. Stark is one of two lead reporters of the Public Press’ new edition on sea level rise, due to hit newsstands later this month. The front-page investigation, a six-month collaboration of 10 journalists, scientists and cartographers, has so far uncovered dozens of commercial and residential projects planned for areas below 8 feet in elevation.

Bay Guardian Raises Hell One Last Time

Inside the newly released Winter 2015 edition of the Public Press, you will find a publication that commemorates the storied 48-year history of one of America’s earliest and most important alternative weekly newspapers: The San Francisco Bay Guardian. The day the San Francisco Media Co. killed the Bay Guardian in mid-October, we offered to print whatever the laid-off editorial staff wanted to give us to reflect on their situation as an eight-page insert in our fall edition — if they could get it to us in a week. Instead, they chose to take three months and put together a thoughtful retrospective that makes an eloquent and impassioned case for preserving a diversity of voices in local media. The Guardian’s closure shocked the local journalism community as much as it did the progressive political constituency with whom the paper sided on so many efforts over 48 years.

A child buys tickets at the Halloween-Día de los Muertos fundraiser for Junipero Serra Elementary in Bernal Heights. The event netted $3,000 for the PTA. Photo by Tearsa Joy Hammock / San Francisco Public Press

Public School Inequality Report Wins SPJ Award

The San Francisco Public Press is pleased to accept a 2014 Excellence in Journalism award for “Public Schools, Private Money,” an in-depth look at inequality in fundraising among schools in the San Francisco Unified School District. The Society of Professional Journalists’ Northern California chapter recognized the special reporting project in the Winter 2014 edition for the best explanatory journalism in the small print publication category. Lead writer Jeremy Adam Smith and colleagues scoured hundreds of pages of tax and school district records. They found that after years of deep local and state education budget cuts, a few were weathering the storm with the help of private donations to parent-teacher associations. Just 10 out of 71 elementary schools earned half the total dollars raised, all at schools where the wealthiest families in the district were concentrated.

How We Rocked Our $30,000 Journalism Kickstarter Campaign (and You Can, Too)

We recently ran a crowdfunding campaign for journalism that brought in three times the amount we were asking for. Here’s how we did it. The San Francisco Public Press has a plan to increase visibility for the organization and double its San Francisco distribution network in just six months. We’re going to do it by launching a program to deliver our quarterly newspapers by bike instead of car to members, retailers and other distribution locations around the city. Of course, that will take money, so we turned to our community of readers for support.


Google’s Separate-but-Equal Bus Policy Highlights S.F.’s Deepening Class Divide

Does Google feel class guilt? The Mountain View-based search giant said last week that it would donate millions to a city program that provides bus passes, gratis, to thousands of San Francisco’s working class and low-income kids. The move comes none too soon, as the income gap between regular Muni riders and those who can afford other transportation modes reached a record high. It was the same week that the Brookings Institute released a national report detailing the growing earnings divide in cities across the nation. It found that the gap between San Francisco’s rich and poor grew faster than in any other American city between 2007 and 2012.

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.

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.”

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.