San Francisco Public Press Executive Director Michael Stoll and Publisher Lila LaHood look back on a decade of working in a nonprofit news operation they founded — including the hurdles they had to overcome to establish nonprofit status for the Public Press — and look to the future. “We are hewing much closer to the ideal of public media, which is to be a public trust, first and foremost, and not try to commoditize the news. You can do different kinds of journalism … if you start out from a place of public service.” — Michael Stoll, San Francisco Public Press executive director
Journalist Sara Bloomberg looks back on her coverage of the 2015 San Francisco election and the millions of dollars poured into the campaign, as well as her reporting on the criminalization of homelessness. “Part of handling data in my reporting is to look for errors … there are mistakes, these data sets are human reported. Humans make errors.” — Journalist Sara Bloomberg
Mark Pape, a radio reporter for the Total Traffic & Weather Network, tells it like it is about reporting on traffic in the San Francisco Bay Area, the third-worst commute in the country. Interviewed in what traffic reporters call “the pit, ” an area ringed by computer workstations, large TV monitors and microphones, Pape, who has been on the job for 31 years, talks about the days of yesteryear when road information was gathered via airplane as opposed to what happens now, when data is gleaned from computer screens.
“Back when I started, we had planes for a lot of different stations. Matter of fact, there would be a reporter in the front seat and another reporter in the back seat.” — Mark Pape
The San Francisco Public Press is launching a city-focused news and talk show on KSFP, a low-power radio station that the organization launched on 102.5-FM in August.
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.
Voter-approved Proposition B mandates that San Francisco create what supporters say would be the toughest data-protection policy of any U.S. city, and would go beyond California’s landmark Consumer Privacy Act. Now comes the hard part: writing the rules that will overcome legal, technical and enforcement challenges.
District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim represents the city’s wealthiest and poorest ZIP codes. She has focused much of her political energy on inclusionary housing — programs mandating a percentage of apartments in new developments be set aside at below-market rates — and set a new standard by securing higher-than-normal affordability ratios on several mega-projects. On homelessness, she says that if elected mayor, she would treat it more like a public health crisis than an economic problem. Second in a series analyzing the mayoral candidates’ records and pledges on housing and homelessness.
A trio of African-American organizations aimed to get some answers from aspiring local leaders at “Facing the Voters,” a candidates’ forum hosted by the Public Press and moderated by its publisher. The candidates were given the opportunity to lay out their bona fides with respect to this city’s dwindling, marginalized African-American community; some did that and some did not. First of two articles.
Three African-American groups are sponsoring a May 5 candidate forum to focus attention on issues important to the black community. Organizers have invited all candidates running for San Francisco mayor, District 8 supervisor, Superior Court and the 12th Congressional District.
Sandy Close has made it her life’s work to find and amplify unique voices from different ethnic communities, especially those of the young. For nearly 50 years, Pacific News Service and its successor, New America Media, practiced “journalism from the inside out” by bringing people from many cultures into the newsroom. Last fall, Close had to shutter her organization, but her legacy lives on in dozens of professional journalists who got their start with her.