SF Public Press, the nonprofit newsgathering organization, disclosed today that some of the research it commissioned for its series on layoffs in the Bay Area news industry was funded in part with a subcontract from the U.S. Department of Labor.

However, Public Press in an unbylined statement said none of the federal money went to pay journalists.

Public Press today posted the following:

    The Public Press won a subcontract on a federal Department of Labor study of displacement of journalists in the San Francisco Bay Area during the last decade, in collaboration with Natelson Dale Group in Yorba Linda, California. 
    The contractor on the “Research Study of Workforce Dislocation Among San Francisco Bay Area Journalists” was the North Valley Job Training Consortium, or NOVA, whose aim was to provide the legions of jobless journalists opportunities to improve their skills or transition to other kinds of work. 
    The Public Press was paid to hire and manage a team of researchers early this year to track down thousands of current and former Bay Area journalists, of whom more than 700 completed a detailed online survey called the San Francisco Bay Area Journalist Census. Visit journalistcensus.org to read the full report. 
    We used the expertise we acquired through that research to launch a more targeted explanatory project about the state of the local news media. The Department of Labor contract was not, however used to pay journalists.

Funding also came from Spot.us, a website that allows the public to contribute toward reporting projects.

Bay Area Media News


  1. Classic. Yet another narcissistic case of the news business reporting about itself, when no one in the public cares.

  2. Many reporters use federal research in their stories. The only twist here is that they obtained a grant to pay for the research. Not a bad way to go so long as the Dept. of Labor doesn't dictate how the research is done.

  3. What does this sentence mean from the "reporting on ourselves statement? "The Public Press raised $1,179.39 in addition to the $2,000 it paid in freelance fees to the reporters using the nonprofit journalism micro-funding website Spot.Us."

  4. I'm curious about why this disclosure is coming now, after they posted their stories. If they believe in disclosure and those other ethical principles they cited, they should have told readers about this at the time these stories were being read.

  5. Kudos to the SF Public Press for leveraging federal dollars to do their research. They didn't use the money to pay reporters salaries, so they had a firewall to protect the journalism. Good job!

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