SF Public Press Rolls off a Real Press

By: E&P Staff

On June 22 the San Francisco Public Press delivered its first print edition — 8,000 copies of an ad-free pilot paper from the new online organization started last year to cover local news.

Established in 2007 and publishing online since March of 2009, the Public Press is supported by member-subscribers, the work of volunteers and the gifts of benefactors and foundations.

Sold for $2 in bookstores and by volunteer hawkers who included staffers, the 28-page edition carried dozens of stories from Public Press staff and 17 contributing organizations. The paper carried no editorial but included several opinion pieces.

Public Press Executive Director Michael Stoll told Public Press contributor The Bay Citizen, “we’re prototyping… the business model” for a print edition, perhaps starting with a quarterly publication and becoming a weekly over time. “We’ll have to do that slowly unless we get an infusion of capital,” he told the Citizen.

A print edition can be important to readers whose Internet access is limited, Stoll told the San Francisco Chronicle, adding that he hoped this week’s first press run would attract more subscribers.

Last December 2009 SF Public Press collaborated with McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern on the “Bay Bridge Report,” which looked into the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge’s $12 billion cost.

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