One year ago the San Francisco Public Press launched “Civic,” its flagship radio program and podcast, on its low-power radio station KSFP at 102.5 FM.
Since then “Civic” has delivered in depth election reporting, interviewed community leaders, and explored the homelessness crisis, the housing shortage and inequality. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic “Civic” has spoken with essential workers and looked at the impact of the disease on the city’s most vulnerable residents. The program has also spoken with artists, writers and creators about their contributions to the life of the city and the greater Bay Area.
This is a moment where strong, local journalism is more important than ever, said host Laura Wenus. “I just see this incredible confluence of so many different areas of news happening right now,” she said. “The coronavirus pandemic, this state is on fire, schools are back in session, we have an election coming up, the Postal Service situation. There’s so much that we could talk about and so much that people are wondering about.”
Wenus said that the show has continued to evolve since the first broadcast. “I felt this shift in the way that we work that has made it less about the coolness of being on the terrestrial airwaves, and more about holistically looking at the audio products that we’re putting out and talking to our listeners,” she said. “We’re still learning and I don’t feel any shame in saying that, because we’ve just been doing this for a year.”
“Civic” producer and contributor Mel Baker said that hearing from listeners is important. “I’d like people to give us some feedback about where they’re hearing the program, whether they’re hearing it on our terrestrial signal or whether they’re hearing it in podcasts,” he said. “All that feedback will help us grow this audience and I also hope to continue to network with other underserved communities here in the Bay Area, whose words and voices aren’t getting out there, so that we can continue to build this community that we’ve started here with this little audio project of the San Francisco Public Press.”