Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Enter the Greater Bay Area Journalism Contest

You're invited to enter your work in the San Francisco Press Club's 2017 Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards Contest. We will honor the outstanding work of Bay Area print, TV, radio and digital media journalists, graphic designers and photographers, as well as the work of documentary filmmakers and PR materials from nonprofits and corporations.

Entries must have been published, posted or broadcasted from Jan. 1, 2016 through Dec. 31, 2016.

All entries will be judged by media professionals from press clubs across the United States. The contest deadline for entries is Monday, Sept. 18.

This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your work and add notable recognition to your résumé. This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the press club! Considering the challenges facing our country, it's more important than ever that we join together to support our journalism community and recognize excellence.

Please CLICK HERE for contest entry rules and details.

Questions? Please call or email Awards Administrator Terry Williams at (619) 743-3669 or sfpc@cox.net.

The San Francisco-Peninsula Press Club is rebranding! In recent years, our membership has grown to include members from all over the Greater Bay Area. We've dropped the word "Peninsula" to reflect that change. In addition to our new name and new look, we're delighted to have several new members on our board of directors to discuss ideas about how to best serve our Northern California journalists.

Press Club is on Facebook

We are excited to announce the San Francisco Press Club's new look and upcoming events. All Bay Area journalists, graphic designers, photographers, filmmakers, TV, radio and public relations professionals are encouraged to like and share our new page and enter the 2017 Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards!

Monday, August 7, 2017

At 98, David Perlman steps away from full-time reporting at the Chronicle

Chronicle reporters Carl Nolte, left, and David Perlman, center, toast the paper's 150th anniversary on Jan. 16, 2015. Photo by Mike Kepka of the Chronicle.
A full 77 years after joining San Francisco Chronicle as a copy boy, science writer David Perlman is stepping away from full-time reporting to become the paper’s science editor emeritus. His retirement has caught the attention of media outposts around the world. Here is a retrospective The Chronicle published on his career Sunday.

Friday, July 21, 2017

New name, new look, new board members

The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club has changed its name to the San Francisco Press Club. This rebranding comes as the press club's board has added new members with some fresh perspectives. These changes are occurring as the club is entering its 40th year. Within days we will begin accepting entries for our annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Contest. Keep an eye on this space for details.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Catch up on the Press Club's board meetings

The Press Club posts the minutes of its board meetings on this site. The minutes describe a lot of the behind-the-scenes operations of the club and the activities of its directors. The link to all of our minutes is on the right sidebar of this page. Here are the latest minutes:





Friday, June 30, 2017

Photos from the high school boot camp

Students from high schools throughout the Bay Area participated in the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club’s annual high school boot camp, an event with seminars, speakers, awards and snacks. This year’s boot camp was held on May 13 at City College of San Francisco. The following photos were taken by Franchon Smith.
Panelists for a workshop on fake news and alternative facts included,
from left, former CNN producer and Emmy Award winner Jon Orlin,
Pulitzer Prize-wining author Jonathan Freedman, Peter Scheer, former
executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, Kayla Figard,
librarian and former college journalist, and moderator Carla De Luca
Worfolk, Emmy Award-winning TV producer.
SF Chronicle reporter Kimberly Veklerov hosted a workshop on breaking
news, one of 12 how-to sessions offered by media professionals during
the boot camp.
Kayla Figard, right, presents a Jack Russell Scholarship certificate
to high school student Meghan Bobrowsky.
High school scholarship recipient Meghan Bobrowsky
Davis High School student Meghan Bobrowsky was among two students
receiving scholarships during the boot camp.

Press Club president Antonia Ehlers launches the boot camp.
High school student Roman Peregrino displays the Herb Caen Scholarship certificate received during the boot camp.
Former CNN producer KimChi Tyler leads a workshop on video news production.
Club board member Dave Price leads a workshop on student investigations, rights and responsibilities.

Van Amburg, legendary KGO-TV anchor, dead at 86

'THIS JUST IN' - Legendary Channel 7 anchor Van Amburg reports on the kidnapping of newspaper heiress Patty Hearst in 1974.
If you lived in the Bay Area in the 1970s and 80s, you knew the name Van Amburg. He was the controversial, often sensationalistic king of local TV news.

Van Amburg — whose first name was Fred, though he rarely used it on the air — died June 22 at age 86 at his home in El Cerrito with is family at his side, according to his former station, KGO-TV Channel 7.

He took the helm at Channel 7 in 1969 when the station was in last place and local TV news was nothing more than an announcer reading a script. Newscasts were seen as dull public service programs stations did to satisfy the FCC.

Van Amburg revolutionized local TV news, taking Channel 7 to the top, attracting more viewers than the other stations combined.

He was paid handsomely too — over $1 million a year.

Van Amburg ushered into television a new style of local news, emphasizing fire, crime, sex, tear-jerkers, animal stories and an obsession with the occult. National and international news didn’t get much air time.

“He desperately wanted the viewers to believe that the little guy needed a voice, and Van set out to be that voice,” the late KPIX Channel 5 anchor Dave McElhatton said in 1990. “He wasn’t afraid to take a stand. He delighted in taking on cults, terrorists, anyone he thought was taking advantage of the little guy.”

Van Amburg and co-anchors Jerry Jensen, weatherman Pete Giddings and sportscaster John O’Reilly dressed up in cowboy gear, climbed on horses and filmed a promo that depicted them as the “KGO Cowboys.” Van Amburg, the champion of the little guy, wore the white hat, of course.

The cowboys promo became a classic and it is believed to have inspired a scene in the 2004 Will Ferrell movie "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" where competing San Diego news teams get into a back alley brawl.

One reason for Van Amburg’s success is that he pioneered something that became known as “happy talk,” light banter woven into the serious news of the day in order to humanize a newscast. He’d kid with his co-anchor about a story he just read or razz his weatherman over his neck tie.

Happy talk took off. Just about every station in the country copied the idea, and it’s still apart of TV news today.

KGO’s ratings were so extraordinary that in 1974 CBS sent Mike Wallace to San Francisco to do a “60 Minutes” piece on Van Amburg and the KGO news phenomena.

Wallace said KGO’s 11 p.m. newscast was like vaudeville. Wallace grilled Van Amburg over a story he did one night about a severed penis found on what is now the Caltrain tracks. Wallace asked him if that wasn’t just a ploy to get ratings. Van Amburg, with a straight face, said that somebody was the victim of that attack, and Channel 7 needed to report it.

“We didn’t just cut that thing off and put it out there,” Van Amburg retorted.

Van Amburg covered the big local stories of that era — the Patty Hearst kidnapping, the Jonestown massacre, the assassinations of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone and the Zodiac murders.

Behind the scenes, Van Amburg feuded with management. They reportedly wanted him to tone down his crusader image. In 1986, KGO decided not to renew his contract. That was the last viewers would see of him. He never worked in the news business again. (Story by Dave Price, Press Club secretary)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Press Club presents awards to high school journalists

The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club held its high school journalism boot camp and its high school journalism awards on Saturday, May 13, at City College in San Francisco. Here’s a list of the winners:

Column 
First, “Women's March supporters lack clear direction,” by Avery Adams from Carlmont High School

Second, “Normalizing hatred leads to daunting consequences,” by Nina Heller from Carlmont High School

Third, “Beware the invasion of fake news,” by Rayshaun Jordan from Eastside College Prep

Editorial 
First, “Taking a knee in high school sports,” by Editorial Staff, from Notre Dame High School, Judges' Comment: The Catalyst Editorial, "Taking a knee in high school sports" delves into the controversial action of Colin Kaepernick and his refusal to stand during the National Anthem. By interviewing students across multiple sports, the Catalyst Staff brings a wider element into the story. Interviews with student athletes, both male and female, add power to the article by showing mixed opinions toward Kaepernick's action. This well written editorial leaves the reader with a balanced look at the effects of Kaepernick's choice and ends with a thought provoking invitation to look beyond "taking a knee" to examine the passion and motivation behind the act. Kudos to the Editorial Staff of the Catalyst for an excellent article! 

Second, “A time and a place for 'safe spaces',” by Editorial Staff from Eastside College Prep

Third “Fake news comes with real dangers in today’s world,” by Editorial Staff from Aragon High School

Feature Photo 
First, “Depression In Teen,” by Kinsey Cook from Carlmont High School. Judges' Comment: The simplicity of this image has a powerful emotional impact. This photograph captures such a personal, private moment without being intrusive. The focus on the human condition is reminiscent of the photographs of Andre Kertesz offering a powerful window into the world of another as hidden observer. 

Second, “Free speech and activism at Aragon,” by Isha Patel from Aragon High School. Judges' Comment: Your use of light and shadow excel in this photo. You found the perfect balance of light and shadow and perspective in the photograph to direct focus to the two main subjects in the foreground while leading the viewer's eye to the sign and crowd seated below. Composition of this photograph highlights the human with the physical world with which the subjects are engaged. Your use of lighting (especially the refracted lights on the upper left) stunningly accentuate the warm colors throughout. Excellent work! 

Third “Maintaining Family Traditions,” by Sharon Tulman, from Carlmont High School. Judges' Comment: The simple elegance of this photo tells a haunting story of two separate worlds — the traditional and the modern. The photographer has captured a story within a story with the lighting of the Mennorah by the young boy set against the blurred image of older boy absorbed with his phone is evocative of the passage of time. This image shows two worlds with a subtle statement far more than is obvious at first glance. Well done! 

Feature Story 
First, “Women in athletics: The race for equality,” by Claire Mason from Aragon High School. Judges' Comment: An excellent report overall—very well-written and researched, comprehensive and detailed, and including important historical context.

Second, “Asian culture silences discussion of mental illnesses,” by Catherine Lei from Carlmont High School. Judges' Comment: A well-done report on a difficult, sensitive subject, supported with important facts and comments.

Third “Belmont works to create a vibrant downtown,” by Sam Hosmer from Carlmont High School. Judges' Comment: Great, enterprising, local piece that covers significant information impacting a community.

Honorable Mention, “Intersectionality: Bonding by understanding identities,” by Naomi Vanderlip from Aragon High School

Honorable Mention, “Women make strides in technology,” by Kaylee George from Carlmont High School

Feature Story - Yearbook
First, “Cal Riley Dedication,” by Justin Riley, from Serra High School Yearbook. Judges' Comment: A remarkable tribute to this lovely young man. The well-placed use of quotes really illustrates the wonderful person Calvin must have been. He is loved by his entire community, and these two pages are a beautiful, emotional tribute.

Second, “Fall Social Justice Project,” by Justin Riley, from Serra High School Yearbook. Judges' Comment: A compelling portrayal of an important subject. Nice to see so many students participating in the war against racism!

Third “Mr. Ferretti Dedication,” by Johnson He, from Serra High School Yearbook. Judges' Comment: A special, poignant tribute to a man who has obviously dedicated his life to education and his family.

Honorable Mention, “Rallies,” by Mitch Baumann from Serra High School Yearbook

Honorable Mention, “Service & Justice,” by William Healey from Serra High School Yearbook

Layout and Design - Newspaper
First, “The Oracle issues,” by The Oracle Staff from Henry M. Gunn High School. Judges' Comment: Simply amazing graphics and layout. It's hard to believe these are high school students — it is on par and in some cases more appealing than professional newspapers!

Second, “The Eagle,” by The Eagle Staff from Washington High School. Judges' Comment: Excellent use of graphics and color. Careful use of space and easy on the eyes!

Third “The Eastside Panther,” by The Panther Staff from Eastside College Prep. Judges' Comment: An outstanding looking newspaper. The only thing we wish to see is a pop of color, although that might be due to the cost of printing. Otherwise a professional, interesting and well designed publication. 

Layout and Design - Yearbook 
First, “Serra Senior Polls,” by Brett Anchartechahar from Serra High School Yearbook. Judges' Comment: A vibrant portrayal of a school’s graduating seniors! Fun, modern and bursting with energy. 

Second, “In Loving Memory of Calvin Riley,” by Justin Riley from Serra High School Yearbook. Judges' Comment: A very special, heartwarming tribute to a wonderful young man. Excellent use of color and photography.

Third “History,” by William Healey from Serra High School Yearbook. Judges' Comment: An interesting spread! We particularly liked the Q&A section. 

Honorable Mention, “Traveling Padres,” by Matthew Sim from Serra High School Yearbook. Judges' Comment: What a fun page! Interesting destinations, too.

Honorable Mention, “Varsity Baseball,” by Justin Riley from Serra High School Yearbook. Judges Comment: A very well laid out sports page.

News Photo 
Judges' comment: It is not easy judging 34 entries! Some fine submissions. We appreciate seeing the photos in the context of the stories they represent. Thank you for those of you so doing. While judging will always be somewhat subjective, we tried to follow the guidelines given: Competition Note: Definition: A photo of a newsworthy event or activity over which the photographer had little or no control of setting, lighting, or photographic opportunity. ... Judging: Spot news value will be judged, as well as visual impact, story-telling ability, content/composition and technical quality. Color photos may be entered, but color WILL NOT be a factor in judging. 

First, “Protestors gather in front of the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice with signs and body paint protesting Judge A. Persky,” by Jenna Marvet from Henry M. Gunn High School. Judges' Comment: Not staged, natural and totally representing the nature of the story associated with it. Well done.

Second, “Blood drive: Junior Imani Rhodes donates her blood through Stanford's annual blood drive,” by Aaron Muniz from Eastside College Prep. Judges' Comment: A picture is worth a 1,000 words as they say - and this photo goes to the heart of the story.

Third “Frosh Olympics results still under review,” by Stephen Aguirre from Archbishop Riordan High School. Judges' Comment: This could easily have been a Sports photo entry. But we went with it because of the content of the story so associated with it. Another reason to have photos with their stories! Great action shot! 

News Story 
Judges’ comments: These entries demonstrate a great effort to produce relevant news coverage for students. We especially appreciate seeing use of local and campus sources. Taking off-campus and broader issues, such as immigration and housing, and “localizing” them from the students’ points of view also can be effective in developing effective coverage. Well done.

First, “AB 165: State Assembly bill proposes warrantless searches of students,” by Evalyn Li, Andrew Zhao from Henry M. Gunn High School. Judges' Comment: Legal efforts to remove student privacy on electronics

Second, “San Mateo County files brief to protect immigrants’ rights,” by Alexander Derhacobian from Carlmont High School. Judges' Comment: San Mateo County files brief to protect immigrants' rights. Topic of interest to students.

Third “The savior of the U.S. doesn't want the job: Millennials resist running for office,” by Hanalei Pham from Carlmont High School. Judges' Comment: Campus reaction to study that suggests many millennials do not want to participate in government

Honorable Mention, “The blazing question: Marijuana Legalization?” by Gabriel Lukaszewicz, Katie Savage from Aragon High School

Honorable Mention, “Students join the fight for gender equality,” by Izzy Bruguera from Carlmont High School

Honorable Mention, “State lawmakers tackle teacher shortage,” by Alexander Derhacobian from Carlmont High School

Honorable Mention, “Jewish Cub plans to bring awareness of religion,” by Madison Wong from Carlmont High School

Honorable Mention, “Bay Area housing market skyrockets,” by Hanalei Pham from Carlmont High School

Honorable Mention, “An American dream deferred,” by Julia-Rose Kibben from Convent of the Sacred Heart

Sports Photo
Judges' comment: Thanks for all the submissions. Some really good entries. We like to see the photo with the story for context. Although judging with always be somewhat subjective, we have tried to remain true to the following guidelines: Judging: Criteria are capturing the peak of action, spot-news value, visual impact, story-telling ability, content, composition and technical quality.

First, “"Jump",” by David Hickey from Palo Alto High School. Judges' Comment: What a great shot! Captures the peak of action, visual impact — well everything! Good job. 

Second, “Dons prevent late comeback effort, take down Bearcats,” by Kamille Suayan from Aragon High School. Judges' Comment: Very close to First Place. Almost a coin toss. This is a classic sports shot. Good future in photo journalism. 

Third “Baseball,” by Max Wang, from Henry M. Gunn High School. Judges' Comment: Love this shot. Taken at just the right moment. Notice the one swimmer at start of splash. Again, meeting all the judging criteria. 

Sports Story
First, “Cross Country races to second consecutive state championship,” by Harrick Wu, from Archbishop Riordan High School

Second, “Refuse to Lose,” by Jacky Moore, from Palo Alto High School

Third, “JV boys soccer defeated by Aragon Dons,” by Adrian Cunningham, from Carlmont High School

Honorable Mention, “Girls basketball team falls to Leigh in CCS semifinals,” by Zack Cherkas, from Aragon High School

Honorable Mention, “Varsity Soccer Regains first place in their division,” by Lizzy Hall, from Carlmont High School

Honorable Mention, “Varsity improves constancy against Panthers,” by Mackenzie O'Connell, from Carlmont High School

Honorable Mention, “Back to back,” by Andrea Barajas, Viridiana Villagomez From Eastside College Prep

Honorable Mention, “Boys’ swimming breaks Bellarmine streak for first CCS championship,” by Matthew Hamilton, Lena Ye From Henry M. Gunn High School

Honorable Mention, “Wrestling Secures WCAL Crown,” by Matthew Sim, from Serra High School

Sports Story - Yearbook
First, “JV Wrestling,” by Matthew Sim from Serra High School Yearbook

Second, “Varsity Cross Country,” by Matthew Sim from Serra High School Yearbook

Third “Varsity Water Polo,” by Brett Anchartechahar from Serra High School Yearbook

Web Site Content
First, “Scot Scoop News,” by Scott Scoop Staff from Carlmont High School. Judges' Comment: A snapshot of a vibrant community! Everything a student could need at his/her fingertips.

Second, “The Aragon Outlook Website,” by Aragon Outlook Staff from Aragon High School. Judges' Comment: Excellent portrayal of school communities for the Aragon Outlook and the Gunn Oracle, our second place winners. Both are vibrant and the students have an excellent grasp of graphics and placement of text.

Second, “Gunn Oracle website,” by The Oracle Staff from Henry M. Gunn High School

Third “The Broadview website,” by The Broadview Staff from Convent of the Sacred Heart. Judges' Comment: Contemporary and well thought-out. Easy to read, interesting content. Well done!

Honorable Mention, “The Bearcat,” by The Bearcat Staff from San Mateo High School

Web Site Design
First, “The Aragon Outlook Website,” by Avichal Goel, from Aragon High School, Judges' Comment: Bold, vibrant colors draw the viewer in. Wonderful organization and layout.

Second, “C Magazine,” by Nicole Li, from Palo Alto High School, Judges' Comment: What an innovative magazine — hard to believe these are high school students! Just beautiful.

Third, “Scot Scoop News,” by Nathan Godwin, Hanalei Pham, Brooke Chang, Megan Tao, Celine Yang From Carlmont High School, Judges' Comment: Innovative, easy to read, modern and fresh. Excellent work!

Yearbook
First, “Serra High School Yearbook 2016-2017: "Sealed In Gold",” by El Padre Staff from Serra High School Yearbook. Judges' Comment: Classic traditional Yearbook design. Easy to read. Good photos and writing. Well done!

Second, “Y(our) Identity,” by Angela Reinhardt-Mullins, Kevin Han, Alyssa Monstarrat from Mills High School. Judges' Comment: Interesting design and layout. Those responsible for photos did a good job. Modern look. Would have liked to see student class pics to see how they were presented. 

Newspaper General Excellence 
Judges’ comments: All of these newspapers are cutting-edge, vibrant, informative publications. They are incredible examples of what a high school newspaper should be. From the depth of the articles to the amazing graphics and design elements, these newspapers are simply outstanding. Congratulations to these students, who exceeded our expectations with their exceptional publications. 

First, “The Oracle,” by The Oracle Staff from Henry M. Gunn High School

Second, “The Highlander,” by The Highlander Staff from Carlmont High School

Third “The Aragon Outlook,” by The Outlook Staff from Aragon High School

Honorable Mention, “The Eastside Panther,” by The Panther Staff from Eastside College Prep

Honorable Mention, “The Eagle,” by The Eagle Staff from Washington High School

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Countdown to high school boot camp — fake facts, contest and scholarship winners coming right up

Journalism in the Age of Fake Facts — theme of the press club’s annual high school journalism boot camp — is almost here. But there’s no complicated registration procedure. Just contact SFPPC President Antonia Ehlers and let her know you are coming. Email her at: aehlers@serrahs.com

The event is set for Saturday, May 13, at City College of San Francisco.

This year’s event merges two other longtime club services to journalism education, high school journalism contests and scholarships totaling $2,000.

The contest awards are for work by journalism students throughout the Bay Area. Part of these will be presented during a morning event, then concluded after the boot camp. Two scholarships for $1,000 each will be presented at day’s end. The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The first half of contest winners will be announced during ceremonies commencing at 11:30 a.m. The boot camp begins at 1 p. m. with a keynote speaker, followed by workshops at 2 and 3 p.m. Scholarship recipients will be announced at 4 p.m. with the final half of contest winners presented to conclude the event.

The keynote speaker is Kaylee Fagan, a journalism major from San Francisco State University who has developed a fake news web series recently presented at the National Collegiate Press Convention in March.

The workshops are:

News and Feature Photography — Jessica Lifland —Photojournalist and CCSF teacher Jessica Lifland will reveal the basics for getting “the shot” during unfolding news events and feature opportunities. Learn from a pro. 2 to 2:50 p.m.

Breaking News — Learn the essentials of reporting breaking news and conveying information to readers in real time with San Francisco Chronicle reporter Kimberly Veklerov. Get the tips and tools you need to cover anything from natural disasters to election results. 2 to 2:50 p.m.

Feature Writing — Storytelling for all media, telegraph to Twitter, presented by Bill Parks, Ohlone College journalism professor, magazine journalist and former newspaper editor and reporter. 2 to 2:50 p.m.

Social Media in Local Journalism — Social media is more than just Facebook, and in the rapidly changing digital landscape, it can be tough to balance the cutting edge in it with a local newspaper and TV media demographic. Come dip your toes with Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, veteran political columnist and beat reporter, into some of the best practices in local news social media. — 2 to 2:50 p.m.

Writing and Publishing Books — Mark Shaw, the author of 25 books including his most recent, "The Reporter Who Knew Too Much," describes the writing and publishing process. Students will learn how to decide on a book topic, research it, complete a manuscript, and then begin the process to becoming published whether the book's genre is fiction or non-fiction. 2 to 2:50 p.m.

Panel Discussion: Combating Fake News and Alternate Facts — How can we sort facts from fiction and stay informed by accurate sources? 2 to 2:50 p.m.

Panelists are:

Kayla Figard, teen librarian in San Mateo County and award-winning former college journalist

Jonathan Freedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer and CCSF writing teacher

Jon Orlin, Emmy and Peabody award-winning former CNN Producer

Peter Scheer, Former Executive Director, First Amendment Coalition

Moderator: Carla De Luca Worfolk, Emmy award-winning former CNN Producer and filmmaker

Student Investigations — Dave Price, editor of The Daily Post, will give examples of investigative reporting projects students can undertake at their schools. He will provide copies of investigative stories that other student newspapers have published and a list of resources for reporters. Dave also will discuss the rights and responsibilities of student journalists. 3 to 3:50 p.m.

• Transition to College and Careers in Journalism — Antonia Ehlers, freelance journalist and director of media at Serra High School, Ed Remitz, journalist and retired journalism professor, and Joe Wirt, administrator of the California Press Foundation and the Journalism Association of Community Colleges, show how to make the transition from high school to a college journalism/communications program. You also will explore career options in a variety of fields for college grads who major in journalism and/or communications. Parents are welcome! 3 to 3:50 p.m.

Video News Production — KimChi Tyler is a former CNN producer with a history of delivering under high-pressure deadlines. Kiet Do is an award-winning TV reporter at KPIX 5, a CBS News affiliate. In 2006, he won an Emmy for his reporting on stories about urban expansion. In 2004, he was named “Best Reporter" by the New Mexico Broadcaster’s Association. 3 to 3:50 p.m.

Making a Documentary — How do you take a documentary idea and make it a reality? Learn about how documentaries are developed and produced, and succeeding as an independent filmmaker from Carla De Luca Worfolk, Emmy award-winning former CNN producer and director/writer. 3 to 3:50 p.m.

Local News — Jane Northrop, veteran reporter for the Pacifica Tribune, discusses why local news is so important for the local community. Jane discusses what’s going on in city government, police and fire stories, and local schools. 3 to 3:50 p.m.

Sports Writing — Daniel Brown, an award-winning sports writer for the San Jose Mercury News, discusses how to capture the action on the field (and the personalities off of it.) A 20-year veteran of Bay Area press boxes, Brown provides tips on covering games from high schools through the pros. 3 to 3:50 p.m.

Think Fast: Making Great Design in Record Time — You're ready to design the paper, and half your stories fall through. Or: it's the middle of production day and a huge front-page-worthy story breaks. Think fast! K. R. Nava, a UC Berkeley student with credits at National Geographic, NBC and Bloomberg TV, will arm you with tips for making great design on deadline. 3 to 3:50 p.m.

"The High School Boot Camp is an excellent way for students to learn about many aspects of the news business by attending interesting workshops and listening to exceptional guest speakers,” said Antonia Ehlers, president for the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club. “The energy is high, as young journalists network with students from other Bay Area public and private high schools while learning new skills from the experts."

Friday, April 21, 2017

Media law workshop set for May 17

The Media Law Resource Center will hold a one-day workshop May 17 at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Attorneys from top Bay Area law firms will lead workshops on newsgathering, source protection, libel and privacy, digital law, copyright and FOIA.

Experienced journalists from area publications will give tips for working in the field, career advice and take questions.

The full day of workshops, plus breakfast and lunch, is only $20.

Underwriting is provided by the MacArthur Foundation and Mutual Insurance. Space is limited, and previous events have sold out, so register early: medialaw.org/sf.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Staff of the East Bay Times wins Pulitzer Prize for Ghost Ship fire coverage


East Bay Times reporters, from left, Matthias Gafni, Thomas Peele, Harry Harris, Erin Baldassari and David Debolt react as they learn of their Pulitzer Prize win for breaking news at their office in Oakland. Photo by Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group.
The staff of the East Bay Times today won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for coverage of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in December. The Pulitzer committee cited the newspaper's "relentless coverage ... and for reporting after the tragedy that exposed the city’s failure to take actions that might have prevented it."

Here's a link to the award announcement, and it has links to the winning stories.

While no individual reporters were named in the announcement, the staffers whose names were on the stories and photos were: Erin Baldassari, Ray Chavez, Aric Crabb, Aaron R. Davis, David Debolt, Tammerlin Drummond, Malaika Fraley, Matthias Gafni, Harry Harris, Angela Hill, Rick Hurd, Karl Mondon, Katy Murphy, Laura A. Oda, Pai, Thomas Peele, Sam Richards, Robert Salonga, Tatiana Sanchez, Tracy Seipel, Dai Sugano and Julia Prodis Sulek. (Email us if we’ve left anyone off.)

Here's the East Bay Times coverage of the award.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Fake facts, contests and scholarships highlight annual high school boot camp

Journalism in the Age of Fake Facts — that’s the theme for the press club’s annual high school journalism boot camp, set for Saturday, May 13, at City College of San Francisco.

This year’s event merges two other longtime club services to journalism education, high school journalism contests and scholarships totaling $2,000.

The contest awards are for work by journalism students throughout the Bay Area. Part of these will be presented during a morning event, then concluded after the boot camp. Two scholarships for $1,000 each will be presented at day’s end. The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

How do you enter the contest? Go here for the details. Here's a list of last year's winners.

"The High School Boot Camp is an excellent way for students to learn about many aspects of the news business by attending interesting workshops and listening to exceptional guest speakers,” said Antonia Ehlers, president for the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club. “The energy is high, as young journalists network with students from other Bay Area public and private high schools while learning new skills from the experts."

The keynote speaker is Kaylee Fagan, journalism major from San Francisco State University who has developed a fake news web series recently presented at a national journalism convention.

The event will feature a panel discussion on the recent phenomenon of “fake news and alternative facts.” An array of workshops will address such topics as breaking news coverage, photography, video production, investigative journalism and feature writing.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Enter the Press Club's high school contest

The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club is inviting high school journalists from throughout the Bay Area to submit entries for our annual high school journalism contest.

The deadline to enter is April 24. The awards will be presented on Saturday, May 13, during the Press Club's High School Journalism Boot Camp at City College of San Francisco.

The contest is sponsored by Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo.

How do you enter the contest? Go here for the details. Here's a list of last year's winners.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Examiner editor Howerton leaving to work for SF supervisor; Andersen and Dudnick move up

Michael Howerton
Michael Howerton, editor in chief of the San Francisco Examiner and vice president of editorial for San Francisco Media Company, where he also oversees the SF Weekly, has been tapped to serve as chief of staff for Board of Supervisors President London Breed, according to a report in the Examiner.

Gregory Andersen, previously the Examiner’s managing editor, has been promoted to editor in chief. Laura Dudnick, the paper’s city editor, will become the new managing editor.

“After three great years leading the Examiner and SF Weekly, it’s tough to leave,” Howerton said. “The work our reporters do at both papers is essential to the functioning of The City, and I have been proud to be part of that. But I leave both papers in great hands with talented newsrooms, and I look forward to following their coverage.”

Howerton is a member of the San Francisco Press Club’s board of directors and Dudnick is a former member of the board.

Howerton’s career in newspapers spans two decades. A San Francisco native, he has worked as editor in chief of the Examiner since April 2014, and previously held the title of managing editor at the paper. He also has worked as an assistant news editor of the Wall Street Journal and managing editor of the Berkeley Daily Planet.

Prior to his time at the Examiner, Andersen, a Bay Area native, was publisher and executive editor at Marinscope Community Newspapers in Marin County. Howerton starts his new job on March 20. (Photo credit: Jessica Christian, S.F. Examiner)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

$34,000 in scholarships available to students planning a career in journalism

The Sacramento Press Club plans to award $34,000 in scholarships to students preparing for a career in journalism. The seven scholarships range from $4,000 to $8,000. Teachers should encourage their standout students to apply.

Community college students who are transferring to four-year colleges will get special consideration for the $4,000 Nereida Skelton Journalism Scholarship. Six other scholarships are offered to those who will be college juniors, seniors or graduate students this fall and who are focusing on journalism.

For details, go to the Sacramento Press Club's website. The deadline to apply is midnight March 31, 2017.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Training session set for safeguarding your digital communications

Now more than ever, reporters must use good security practices when newsgathering and communicating with sources. A free training session scheduled for March 2 in San Francisco will help journalists learn how to assess security threats, protect sources, use secure text messaging software, and more. The training session will be led by digital security experts from the Electronic Frontier Foundation including Security Engineer/Technologist Bill Budington and Senior Staff Attorney Mitch Stoltz. This event is hosted by SPJ NorCal, the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Click here to register. Space is limited. Beer will be served. Donations accepted to support SPJ programming.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Burlingame journalist's book prompts NY district attorney to reopen investigation into columnist Dorothy Kilgallen's 1965 death

Mark Shaw's book 

(From the Palo Alto Daily Post, Feb. 1, 2017, by Emily Mibach, staff writer)

A Burlingame man’s new book that claims journalist and TV personality Dorothy Kilgallen was murdered in 1965 has prompted the New York City District Attorney to re-open the case. Kilgallen died while she was investigating leads in the assassination of President John Kennedy.

Mark Shaw’s book, “The Reporter Who Knew Too Much,” delves into the circumstances surrounding Kilgallen’s suspicious death.

Kilgallen was the only journalist to interview Lee Harvey Oswald’s killer, Jack Ruby, and she disclosed Ruby’s testimony to the government before it was officially released to the public, creating an enemy in FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

In addition to being a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, Kilgallen was also one of the original panelists on the popular game show “What’s My Line?”

On Nov. 8, 1965, Kilgallen was found dead in a bed in her five-story New York City townhouse. The medical examiner initially ruled her death accidental due to the amount of sleeping pills and alcohol in her system.

But Shaw contends that the examiner’s office was controlled by the Mafia, which likely wanted her dead. Kilgallen was 18-months deep in researching Kennedy’s assassination.

Shaw said she was in the process of unearthing whether Oswald had acted alone in killing Kennedy when she died.

According to Shaw, immediately after Kilgallen died, her files regarding the Kennedy and Oswald case disappeared. She was planning on writing a tell-all on the assassinations of both men.

Shaw and those he interviewed for his book believe that she would have pointed the finger at New Orleans crime family boss Carlos Marcello. Shaw also believes Marcello may have orchestrated her death as well. Marcello died in 1993.

Shaw also said that the room Kilgallen was found in was not where she normally slept, and, according to her hair dresser, the bathrobe she was found in wasn’t one she normally wore. She was found in full make-up and had her hair still up from that night’s episode of “What’s My Line?”

“It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize it (her death) was staged,” Shaw said.

On Dec. 4, Shaw sent a letter to New York DA Cyrus Vance Jr. asking him re-open Kilgallen’s case, saying that what he uncovered while researching the book, points to the idea she was murdered.

“Even though the events surrounding her death are now five decades old, I do not believe your office’s re-opening of the investigation will result in futile posturing. There are strong leads based on credible witnesses and a primary suspect is indeed still alive,” Shaw wrote to Vance.

DA spokeswoman Joan Vollero told the New York Post earlier this week that a staffer had read Shaw’s book and reviewed Shaw’s letters, and that the DA was re-opening the death investigation.

Shaw, 71, has written 25 books and has lived all over the country before moving to Burlingame four years ago. However, he had lived in the Bay Area five other times. Shaw worked as a legal analyst for CNN, ESPN and USA Today on the O.J. Simpson, Kobe Bryant and Mike Tyson cases. Prior to becoming a legal analyst, he was a criminal defense attorney, which is one reason why he wants to see Kilgallen’s murderer brought to light.

“I’ve always been interested in the underdog and making sure people get justice,” Shaw said. “After (Kilgallen) died she was just about erased from the face of the earth.”

RTDNA now accepting scholarship applications

The Radio Television Digital News Association’s Foundation is now accepting applications for our 2017-2018 scholarships and fellowships. Bay Area students may be particularly interested in the Pete Wilson Scholarship, named after the late KGO-TV and KRON anchorman and KGO radio host. Go here for more information. In addition, four fellowships for professionals with fewer than 10 years of experience as well as 9 scholarships between $1,000 and $10,000 are available for students. The deadline to apply is May 31, 2017.