Public forum on Chronicle to focus on impact of possible closure

The possible closure of the San Francisco Chronicle and the unavoidable cutbacks it is facing will be the topics of a free public forum Tuesday evening at the Public Library’s main branch

"A Conversation About The Chronicle," sponsored by the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, will give citizens the opportunity to discuss their concerns with a panel of civic leaders, business experts, journalists, publishers, non-profit foundations, media innovators and labor representatives. The forum will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Koret Auditorium, on the lower level of the library, 100 Larkin St.

“The Society of Professional Journalists board is gravely concerned about what we perceive as the diminished capacity to adequately cover important news by the Chronicle and other northern California newspapers,” said Tom Murphy, an SPJ member and forum organizer.

The forum will be live-streamed over the Internet on SFGTV and recorded for broadcast on SFGTV and KALW-FM 91.7. Co-moderators will be Rose Aguilar and Hana Baba of KALW.

Confirmed participants include: Neil Henry, dean of the UC-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism; Dr. Dina Ibrahim, director of broadcast journalism at San Francisco State University; Kevin Keane, executive editor of the Bay Area News Group-East Bay; Bruce Brugmann, publisher of the San Francisco Bay Guardian; David Cohn, founder of Spot.US; Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig, news editor of The Public Press; Louis Freedberg, director, California Media Collaborative; Carl Hall, local representative of the  California Media Workers Guild; Martin Reynolds, editor of the Oakland Tribune; Dr. David Robinson, senior lecturer at the Haas School of Business; Owen Rogers, a partner at IDEO; Ricardo Sandoval, board president of the SPJ Northern California Chapter and assistant city editor at the Sacramento Bee; David Weir, veteran journalist, BNET; and Tom Murphy, social entrepreneur, and

The Northern California Media Workers Guild, which represents about 500 Chronicle employees, agreed Saturday to concessions that would allow the Hearst Corp. to cut about 150 union jobs and eliminate some benefits. This agreement comes after Hearst announced in February that it would be forced to sell or close the paper if it could not make needed “critical” cost-cutting measures.


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