Today we are proud to announce the publication of Issue No. 3 of the San Francisco Public Press — still in glorious full-color broadsheet.
The special section in the issue: a team project on the fall and possible rebirth of Bay Area news media. Jeremy Adam Smith reports on how half of Bay Area newspaper jobs evaporated on the last decade, while David Weir delves into some of the more than 5,000 San Francisco-based new media startups. The media project took a team of eight people months to report. It grew out of the work we did this winter to help produce the Bay Area Journalist Census for NOVA, a workforce development agency in Sunnyvale.
We will be rolling out stories online over the next few days. If you want to read them sooner, get a copy of the paper!
Issue No. 3 of the San Francisco Public Press, a broadsheet full-color local newspaper, will be available for just $1 at more than 50 retail outlets by Thursday, May 12, and now through online mail order ($4).
The “About Us” section of the newspaper on page 2 explains why we thought it necessary to turn the focus on our own profession:
Since the Public Press started publishing news online two years ago there has been an explosion of news-focused new media ventures locally and across the country. They range in scope from global to ”hyperlocal.” Cravenly commercial to naïvely idealistic. Amateur to professional. Earnest to downright sarcastic.
All this experimentation is crucial if journalists are to continue their role in preserving democratic self-governance by keeping the powerful accountable. Our focus in issue No. 3 of this newspaper: what, if anything, will emerge from the rubble of the Bay Area’s once formidable local press infrastructure. See page B1.
As David Weir, one of the founders of Salon.com and the Center for Investigative Reporting — both incubated in San Francisco — writes in this issue, this city will be the birthplace of the new news.
The Public Press is one such experiment. We combine the approach of public broadcasting (requesting small donations from satisfied listeners during pledge drives) with newspaper sales and a subscription model. What we don’t do is sell eyeballs to advertisers. We think freedom from commercial messages allows us to do more independent reporting about the whole community, not just the elites whom advertisers covet.
It has been a hard slog gathering the resources to produce what we’re planning to turn into a quarterly journal of public policy and culture for San Francisco. We are still mostly volunteers — professional journalists who believe in the mission of the organization — but we take our work and our commitment to serving the community seriously.
In other words, we want to hear from you. What should we be doing? Send us your thoughts. And please, if you like what you see here, send us your Starbucks frappuccino money: https://sfpublicpress.org/donate.
SEND US YOUR THOUGHTS: NEWS [at] SFPUBLICPRESS [dot] ORG