Professional and college reporters training collaboratively for the future of Bay Area journalism. Bay News Rising is a project of the Pacific Media Workers Guild made possible by the labor and contributions of its members.
Program Instructor and Editor Bill Snyder is the co-chair of Guild Freelancers. He’s been a full-time freelancer for 12 years. Over the years, he’s written about technology and business for a variety of publications, including InfoWorld, CIO, Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley. He’s a writer, editor and writing coach for San Francisco Senior Beat.
Before setting off on his own, he was a reporter at newspapers including the Contra Costa Times and the Oakland Tribune. He’s worked as a writer, senior editor, and executive editor at tech publications including PCWeek, PCWorld, Business 2.0 and TheStreet.com.
Bill is a graduate of San Francisco State University and has lived in San Francisco since college.
Derek Moore is a Napa-based freelance writer who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize along with staff of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat (Sonoma County) for breaking news coverage of Northern California wildfires in 2017. As a daily news reporter, Moore covered numerous national and international events, including the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, the Sept. 11 terror attacks and the 2014 South Napa Earthquake. Moore has written extensively about local government, state politics, the environment and health, the latter with a particular emphasis on adolescent suicide. Moore earned his journalism degree from Sacramento State University in 1993. As a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, he lived for a year in South Africa, where he earned a Post-Graduate Diploma in African Studies from the University of Cape Town. Moore is president of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, which represents hundreds of journalists and court interpreters on the West Coast and in Hawaii. He and his wife, December, have two children and a cat.
Richard Knee is a San Francisco-based freelance journalist who has written for specialty and mainstream publications, covering business, local government and politics, education, labor and sports. He has coached and mentored journalism students at San Francisco State and his alma mater, Cal State Northridge (journalism B.A., 1972). He has a California credential to teach community college journalism and mass communications. His long-time freedom-of-information and First Amendment activism includes a 12-year stint on San Francisco’s open-government watchdog commission, the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force. “Big government isn’t the problem,” he says. “Secret government is the problem.”
David Bacon is a freelance writer and photographer, former factory worker and union organizer. He documents workers, migration, and the struggle for human rights. His latest book, In the Fields of the North/En los Campos del Norte (University of California 2017), documents the lives of farmworkers in photographs and oral histories. His photography has been exhibited in the U.S. Mexico and Europe, and his articles and photo essays have been published widely. He is the co-chair of the Guild’s freelance unit.
Semantha Raquel Norris is a Salvadoran-American visual journalist from Los Angeles. She received a BA from New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Study, with a concentration in international development and photography. She is currently pursuing a masters from UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism with a focus in multimedia and photojournalism. Her work focuses on matters of housing, labor rights, and migration. She hopes to dismantle systemic barriers and push social change through her storytelling. Her photographs have been exhibited in Los Angeles, New York, and Havana. Her work has been published in Oaklandside, Oakland North, the Los Angeles Press, and more.
JohnTaylor Wildfeuer is a former union preschool teacher, a CCSF student and a San Francisco based freelance journalist. After serving as chief editor of CCSF’s the Guardsman for a year, JohnTaylor joined the journalism department’s industry advisory board to help support its longevity. They are presently engaged in stories about the structural integrity of public institutions and about equity of access. They live near the panhandle with their wife, Skylar and a fog filled fire escape.
JohnTaylor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter at @jtwildfeuer
Chaya Tong is a rising sophomore at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia where she studies biology and English. At Emory, she writes and edits for The Emory Wheel, Emory’s student newspaper. When she isn’t writing, she can be found drinking boba, exploring the Bay Area, or drawing. Chaya can be reached at email@example.com.
Cassandra Shoneru is currently a journalism major at Diablo Valley College. She is also an incoming reporter for The DVC Inquirer. After graduating high school in 2021, Cassandra found her passion for journalism by taking a journalism class at her community college. She hopes to go on to university in southern California.
She is a first-generation American and is fluent in both English and Romanian. Being born and raised in the Bay Area allowed her to experience many cultures. Cassandra strives to bring awareness to important issues happening in communities. It’s important her that everyone has a platform to share their stories. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Eliza Partika is studying multimedia at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She currently works as a writer for the UC Berkeley School of Public Health communications team, where she enjoys interviewing sources working on fascinating projects, like her recent story on sisters and BPH students Nazineen Kandahari and Nilufar Kayhani, who started a health education initiative to address health disparities in the Bay area Afghan refugee community. The story was featured on The Berkeley Wire on August 13, 2021.
From August 2019 through the start of the pandemic, Eliza worked for the UC Irvine Office of Strategic Communications & Public Affairs writing impact stories on student and faculty research in the sciences – everything from interdisciplinary neuroscience advancements, stem cell and Alzheimer’s research to AI predicting the behavior of wildfires and the ways in which humans process and artistically represent death through the objects once belonging to loved ones.
Through July 2021, she interned with KQED as a data research assistant for the California Reporting Project, reading, annotating, and analyzing police misconduct records. She assisted in fact-checking and copy editing KQED’s breaking story on the Bakersfield Police Department’s unaccountability for breaking the bones of 31 people over four months.
She reported and mixed a segment for KALW Radio, “Beautiful, Unexpected: Children’s Choir Builds Confidence Despite Virtual Rehearsals” which aired in March 2021.
Eliza has traveled on experiential education trips to Israel and the Palestinian Territories with the Rose Project’s Fact Finders Learning Mission and the Olive Tree Initiative, where she heard personal experiences of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from diplomats, journalists, and citizens on the ground. She is interested in examining and correcting the media’s misrepresentation of communities in conflict and publishing narratives that will reveal the realities of these communities. She is also interested in the politics behind trans-generational trauma, as well as the ability of art to heal generational trauma that comes from prolonged and intractable conflicts.
Luke Wrin Piper has watched public support for unions and workers rights wane over the years, making it harder for those without the privilege of accessible higher education to earn a living. The experiences of workers speak for themselves, our job is to hear them.
Luke grew up in the 510 (area code) and is currently a journalism student in Oakland, Calif. He is currently editor-in-chief at The Citizen, the Peralta Community College District’s student run publication. He plans to continue writing about labor issues, art, politics and crime in the Bay Area and beyond.
He is also currently an intern for On Spec, an international podcast focused on the personal stories of those affected by borders, disinformation and xenophobia.
Menel Raach is a journalist and filmmaker from Tunisia and currently
a student at Laney studying multimedia. She is passionate about social change through storytelling. She started her career as a reporter for Tunisian television and radio channels. She wrote and shot a short movie The Stranger about violence against children. Menel speaks Arabic and French.
Ande Richards is a rising second-year graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley.
She unwittingly discovered her passion for journalism when she was thrust into a leadership position at the Los Angeles City College Collegian and Collegian Times Magazine. She sharpened her skills as a long-form features writer, launched her bi-weekly column, Drop Stitch, and developed her eye for photojournalism, earning her awards at the state and national levels.
Ande’s reporting often centers on underserved communities locally and abroad. Before the violent protests and recent political upheaval, Ande turned her lens on the people of Haiti, from school children facing less than ideal conditions to prisoners held in decaying facilities from a bygone era.
At Cal, Ande contributed to the alumni magazine, California, writing about people and the connections they forged at “The Wall.” She also volunteered to manage the production of the J-school’s sole print publication, Realeyes magazine, where she contributed a photo essay featuring devotees of the slain musician and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle.
Last spring, in a serendipitous turn of events at a job fair hosted by the J-school, Ande was recruited to produce content for an emerging vertical on Advance Local’s N.J.com platform. She readily accepted the position, which will see her uncovering stories about the varied ethnic communities that reside in the state.
Before attending Cal, Ande freelanced for Los Angeleno, Pace Newspaper, the Jewish Journal, and “Feminist Magazine” on KPFK-FM. She also served on the Los Angeles Press Club boards and the local chapter of the NLGJA.
Ande is embarking upon a road trip across the country to settle into her new role, carting along her rescue pitbull, Ralph, and a burgeoning succulent collection.
Noor Baig is a graduating senior at San Francisco State University, majoring in Journalism and minoring in Race and Resistance Studies. She has been a student journalist since her early high school years and has recently written for Golden Gate Xpress and El Tecolote newspapers. Noor is an active participant and leader of the Muslim community at SFSU and the greater Bay Area, where she was born and raised.
Noor is passionate about ethnic media and community building, and hopes use both to influence a more inclusive and educated society. The struggles, joys, and movements of individuals and communities of color are central to her journalism and art.
Connect with Noor on Instagram (@noor_baig) and Twitter (@noorbaig_) and check out her work at noorfbaig.wordpress.com.
Francisco G Delgadillo, a graduate of San Jose State University started his professional career as an art director with the San José Mercury News in the late 90s. He spent the last two decades in the world of tech as a creative director. Following the 2019 dismantling of the brand creative organization he managed for Oracle, he decided to reconnect with journalism and registered for classes at City College of San Francisco.
In the spring 2020 semester, he freelanced and wrote a few stories for the college’s newspaper, The Guardsman, and for EL Tecolote, the longest-running Spanish/English bilingual newspaper in California. Two of his non-fiction essays have been accepted for publication; one this Spring in the college’s literary magazine, Forum; the other this Winter in an upcoming anthology out of Australia, 100 Lives. Contact him at Franciscogd@ymail.com, or Twitter @fgdNews
Jocelyn Tabancay is a Filipino-American multimedia journalist. She loves telling stories at the intersection of inequality, race, and health. Jocelyn got her start in journalism by making short documentaries on deportees in Tijuana, Mexico. More recently she has reported on all things COVID-19 related in Modoc County for the Investigative Reporting Program in partnership with the New York Times. Jocelyn currently attends the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California Berkeley. Her work has been published by KALW, Oakland North, and El Tecolote. She speaks Spanish fluently and Tagalog clumsily.
Maria Sestito is an award-winning columnist and reporter. Originally from New Jersey, Maria started her career in journalism in 2013 as a photographer at The Daily News in Jacksonville, North Carolina. She quickly added “reporter” to her title, becoming the first hybrid reporter/photographer at the newspaper.
She moved to the Bay Area in 2015 and spent three years covering crime, courts and breaking news, including the 2017 North Bay wildfires, in Napa Valley.
Maria has won state press awards in North Carolina and California, including best writing and best column. Her column, Jersey Girl, runs every other Sunday in the Napa Valley Register.
While at the Register, Maria curated the newspaper’s Instagram feed and increased its followers fivefold.
Maria is currently a second-year student studying investigative journalism, new media and narrative writing at UC
Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She is also studying Arabic and the Middle East as a foreign language and area studies (FLAS) fellow. Contact her at email@example.com.
Lisa Martin is a Bay Area journalist and photographer interested in local stories that cover the intersection of business and culture.
She has a bachelor’s degree in Literature from the University of California in Santa Cruz and is currently studying journalism and visual media design at City College of San Francisco.
She regularly contributed stories, photography and art to The Guardsman and Etc. Magazine. Her work has won awards from the California College Media Association and JACC. She served as the Arts and Culture editor at The Guardsman for two semesters and will be serving as editor-in-chief during the fall 2019 semester.
Lisa Martin believes that good journalism should always test our assumptions and that storytelling has the power to engage people with information in a way that makes the knowledge imparted feel more real and pertinent.
Lisa Martin is available for freelance reporting, writing, copyediting and photography projects. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dimitri Dominic Bailey, a transplant from Southern California, is finishing up his bachelor’s degree in journalism at San Francisco State University with a focus on both print and online.
As an openly gay person of color and the brother of two gay siblings, his passion revolves around giving a voice to marginalized communities. His goal is serving LGBTQ+ residents by reporting stories concisely and ethically through the utilization of social media platforms. Bailey has worked at KGO radio as an assistant producer for the Brian Copeland show and has helped implement free health services for San Francisco’s State University’s LGBTQ+ students. After graduation, he aspires to work for a print or online publication that focuses on LGBTQ+ issues. Contact him at: Dimitri.email@example.com
Sarah Lapidus is a journalism student at City College of San Francisco. Her work has appeared in City College’s The Guardsman, 48 Hills and El Tecolote. Spring semester 2018 she worked as editor-in-chief of the Etc. magazine.
Born and bred in San Francisco near the Mission district, she grew up speaking Spanish and uses writing to connect and unite her community. Her journey in journalism began after a two-year stint in China when upon returning, she tried working tech, marketing, and food justice social advocacy. It wasn’t until she was able to take classes at City College that she discovered her love of journalism.
With her insatiable curiosity, and appreciation of languages, as well as her love for her city, she is grateful to have found journalism. She hopes that her career will take her to many places where she can connect people and cultures through accurate reporting and writing.
Erin Stone is a freelance researcher for National Geographic Magazine and a multimedia journalist. She is currently an intern with the San Francisco Chronicle on the metro desk. In her work so far, she has tended to focus on trauma, addiction, mental health, and the economic, environmental, and social disparities that people face every day. Her work has appeared in National Geographic, Mother Jones, and the East Bay Express.
Erin’s work has taken her from a rattlesnake roundup in Sweetwater, TX, to a roomful of surgeons performing a liver transplant in Rio de Janeiro, to an old bar in Revere Beach, MA, where she documented the lives of Vietnam veterans, cocaine dealers and Revere natives who frequented the place. In 2014, she received a National Geographic Young Explorers Grant to produce a multimedia project documenting the impact that construction of California’s high speed rail system has had and will have on diverse communities in the Central Valley. She has worked in the heart of American oil country as a reporter for the daily paper of Midland, TX. Her articles there led to the paper receiving a statewide award for compelling coverage of mental health issues.
Erin believes in the power of storytelling to foster empathy and spur real change. With the conviction that healing begins with being heard, she strives to report on people who are often overlooked and issues that are sparsely covered. She is currently pursuing her Master’s at UC Berkeley School of Journalism, currently pursuing her Master’s at UC Berkeley School of Journalism, with a focus on video, narrative writing, and investigative reporting.
Sarah Carpenter is a journalism student at Laney College in Oakland. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Laney Tower for two semesters. During this time, the paper earned the statewide General Excellence award from the Journalism Association of Community Colleges.
She has won JACC awards for her work in writing, photography, cartooning, and design.
Carpenter graduated from San Francisco State University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing. She has published many poems and flash fiction pieces in local publications, and now writes news stories following Oakland’s city council and community activism for the Oakland Post.
Her interests include local politics, playing music, writing, investigating, comedy, and getting to know Oakland through its activism.
Her dream is to create a publication (and other forms of media) that makes it easier for people to follow local issues, and become involved in the issues that matter to them.
She can be reached at: sarahisacarpenter(at)gmail.com
Simon Campbell is a journalist from the UK pursuing a masters at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He is interested in stories that explore overlaps between culture, politics and sports. Recently he has focused his work on immigration.
Originally from London, Simon later lived in Japan and has worked for the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan and the world’s biggest selling newspaper, and the Jiji Press newswire. He has covered Brexit, general elections, stock and commodity markets, Olympic Games and Premier League soccer.
Simon is part of the new media program at Berkeley. He came to the US to push the boundaries of his work and is building skills in data journalism and narrative storytelling. In 2018 he won an award from the Society of Professional Journalists for a podcast looking at the social importance of high school football.
Myah Overstreet is a rising senior at San Francisco State University (SFSU), majoring in Print and Online Journalism and minoring in English literature. She began her journalism career as a staff writer for her high school newspaper, The Jacket, at Berkeley High School, and has been dedicated to the craft ever since.
She is currently editor in chief of The Issue Magazine, a new media arts and culture publication, published by The Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, where she also works as a consulting producer. Starting next semester, Myah will serve as art director for XPress Magazine, a student-run publication by students in the journalism department at SFSU.
Myah strives to tell impactful stories that spark empathy in not only her readers, but local leaders, lawmakers and politicians. She is dedicated to creating change for the betterment of communities that have no voice. Myah believes that storytelling through both the written and visual arts can make the difference we are all looking for either in our personal lives or in the world. She hopes that her journalism career will take her around the world to report about stories that truly matter.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Brian Howey is a journalism student at Laney College in Oakland.
Howey spent the last ten years traveling around North America, Australia, Asia, Europe, and Africa. His main modes of transportation include hitchhiking and hopping freight trains.
His passions are writing, traveling, playing music, and investigative reporting. The well-known slogan, “Giving voice to the voiceless” is his mantra.
Stories he has covered for the student publication, The Laney Tower, include features on the Alameda County homeless count, a tragic Oakland fire, and a revealing piece about a Laney College presidential candidate.
Attending San Francisco State University is his next educational goal, and after graduation, Howey will be researching his next travel destination.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gabriela Reni is a San Francisco photojournalist in her second year of studying journalism at City
College of San Francisco.
Born in Miami, Florida, she moved to Caracas, Venezuela, when she was 1 year old. After high school, she studied architecture for a few years while making time to pursue photography at the Organization Nelson Garrido, where she found a home that nurtured what was to become her new passion. S he soon found herself spending more time out in the streets with her camera than working on architectural plans on AutoCAD, so she made the switch to photography.
She applied for a scholarship for the one-year photojournalism specialty program at the Escola Superior de Fotografia Grisart in Barcelona, Spain, where she graduated in 2012.
Since then, Gabriela has traveled in Europe, Southeast Asia, Japan, India and Nepal, documenting the cultures, portraying the people and learning from the differences while recognizing the great similarities human beings have in common, no matter where they reside on the globe, what language they speak, who they worship or how they dress.
During her journalism studies at CCSF, the student publication Etc. Magazine published her story and photographs about tiny homes called “Sweet Home Tiny Home.” It won second place at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges Awards in 2017. The cover image for the article won fourth place in the 2016 Photo Excellence Award for the Associated Collegiate Press.
Gabriela became a photographer for the student newspaper the Guardsman in 2016 and assumed the photo editor position in 2017.
She looks forward to being a photojournalist for print and online magazines and newspapers, focusing on in-depth stories about social justice and human interest, as well as investigative journalism.
Gabriela can be reached by email at: email@example.com
Garrett Bergthold will be entering his senior year at San Francisco State University in fall 2017 where he studies journalism with a minor in political science. He is originally from San Jose but currently lives in the city’s Excelsior District.
He writes for the West Portal Monthly where he has published pieces of interest to Westside San Francisco residents since January 2017. He will also begin writing for S.F. State’s Golden Gate Xpress in the fall.
Garrett is a local politics wonk as well as a housing and transportation nerd. He covers pretty much anything that occurs at San Francisco’s City Hall. You can catch him having a blast attending Planning Commission meetings or Land Use and Transportation committee meetings in his spare time.
As the son of a construction worker and an insurance agent, Garrett takes pride in his middle class roots and seeks to tell the underdog story any chance he gets.
When not engaged in journalistic activities, he can be found rock climbing at Castle Rock State Park, playing hockey or aboard Caltrain heading southbound to visit family and friends. He’s also a sagittarius.
Victor Tence is a City College of San Francisco journalism student, an incoming editor for the campus magazine Etc, and copy editor for the campus newspaper The Guardsmen.
Before Victor returned to school to pursue journalism, he spent six years working as a cook in San Francisco. He powered his way through a variety of local kitchens in the city, holding positions ranging from prep cook to sous chef.
His time working in ‘back of the house’ jobs allowed him to experience the Bay Area through the lens of working class families. Inspired by their work ethic and solidarity, he turned to feature and news writing as a way to advocate for and document their struggles.
Born in the Philippines, his family moved between Arizona, Hong Kong and Manila. The time he spent with different cultures has instilled a respect for diversity and a hope in the common values we share across borders.
Telling stories can help dispel fear and prejudice, and lay a foundation for community — a process he wants to be part of. As American writer Margaret J. Wheatley once said: “You can’t hate someone whose story you know.”
Victor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Facebook as Victor Tence.
Alena Naiden is a freelance reporter and photographer. She writes original stories and enjoys clarifying complex ideas. Fluent in English and Russian, Alena is passionate about investigative reporting and long-form journalism.
Her freelance work has been published by the San Francisco Chronicle and Black Rock Beacon. Alena also was a staff writer at Xpress Magazine, Obscura Magazine and La Voz News, where she worked as an editor for online news and feature sections.
Alena is studying journalism at San Francisco State University. She is an intern for San Francisco Examiner and Bay News Rising.
See ARCHIVES for past team members.