Nuala Bishari selected by ProPublica

Public Press Reporter Nuala Bishari Selected for ProPublica Local Reporting Network Fellowship

ProPublica, a national nonprofit investigative journalism organization, has selected San Francisco Public Press reporter Nuala Bishari as one of three fellows for its Local Reporting Network. Bishari and the Public Press’ editorial team will work with a ProPublica senior editor to co-publish her local accountability stories about housing and homelessness for a year, starting April 1. ProPublica will also provide expertise in data, research, engagement, video and design. Other newsrooms participating in the Local Reporting Network this year are Open Vallejo, a Bay Area nonprofit startup, and Outlier Media in Detroit. This group of projects is made possible by a grant from Knight Foundation.

Seth Rosenfeld

Seth Rosenfeld Wins Local Freedom of Information Award for Report on Ride-Hailing Safety

A regional journalism organization recognized freelance investigative reporter Seth Rosenfeld with a freedom-of-information award this week for his Public Press series exposing secrecy and lax state regulation of the burgeoning ride-hailing industry. Rosenfeld spent five months in late 2019 and early 2020 digging into the cozy relationship between the California Public Utilities Commission and the companies it purportedly regulated, Uber and Lyft. In “Ride-Hailing’s Dark Data,” launched online in January 2020 and as a print edition cover story, Rosenfeld found that for six years the commission withheld from public view annual safety reports detailing the industry’s troubling record of crashes and injuries, with sometimes deadly consequences.

Using the Ballot to Fight Corruption

The Public Press hosted a panel discussion on Oct. 29 exploring how voters can use the ballot box to hold local and state government accountable. Veteran good-government experts provided a break down of the challenges in San Francisco and California, and answered questions from the audience. Our panelists were Carmen Balber, executive director, Consumer Watchdog, and Larry Bush, member, San Francisco Ethics Commission. The discussion was moderated by Bay Area radio journalist Max Pringle.

Election 2020: What’s on the Line in San Francisco?

The Public Press hosted a panel discussion October 14 examining San Francisco propositions and local races on the November 2020 ballot. Panelists provided attendees with a nonpartisan breakdown of the measures and candidates, explaining them in plain language and answering audience questions.

Condemning Hate in Online Spaces

Dear Public Press community,

I need to tell you about an upsetting, hateful incident that occurred during a Public Press Live event we held as a Zoom webinar on Thursday, May 28. The Public Press takes this matter seriously, especially in light of the pain and grief expressed nationwide this week about the chronic mistreatment, disrespect and disregard for black lives. A few minutes into our discussion with students about their experience with and perspectives on distance learning during the pandemic, one or more people flooded the text chat with horrific racist epithets directed at La’Jaya Smith, a recent graduate from San Francisco’s Life Learning Academy. The Public Press condemns this kind of behavior and prohibits it on all platforms and venues under our control. As soon as we saw the disturbing comments, another staff member and I responded quickly to eject the attackers and suspended commenting for all participants.