Guest Speakers

Bay News Rising, in its inaugural session, hopes to organize student journalists in the advancement of social justice — and provide a source of ongoing training, networking, mentoring and publishing for student journalists collaborating for the future of Bay Area journalism. To see more about the program, visit

<Bios for speakers under construction, list of speakers is tentative>

  • Carl T. Hall – Pacific Media Workers Guild, Freelance Journalist
  • Luther Jackson – NOVA Workforce Development Manager
  • Leslie Smartt
    Born and raised in San Francisco. BA from Columbia University. I spent most of my early career (nearly 20 years) both around the U.S. and abroad with The Associated Press, primarily as a New York-based national writer covering breaking news. When the world wasn’t shaking, my focus was on long-form feature and investigative pieces. In the mid-90’s I did a mid-career Nieman Fellowship at Harvard, where I focused my studies on community empowerment. Some of that work and my years on the road formed the basis of “Getting a Life: America’s Challenge to Grow Up,” published in 1997. More recently, I was a director of media strategy, investigations and crisis management for a global risk company prior to taking on my role a year ago as regional field director for the Obama Campaign in Norcal.
  • Cindy Beckman – Editor, The Marina Times
    Cindy Beckman has been a contributing editor with the Marina Times since 2006. Starting as a columnist and copy editor, she became Pet Page Editor in 2007 and was named Editor for the monthly publication in 2009. With the merging of Northside San Francisco into the Marina Times in March 2012, she was repositioned as News and Community Editor for the larger publication. She remains a frequent editorial contributor as well.Ms Beckman is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo’s
    Architecture and Design program and is a California-licensed architect. As a 20-year resident of San Francisco’s Marina District, she has a strong interest in the continued viability of the local, neighborhood newspaper, which led to her contributions and association with the Marina Times.
  • Lea Suzuki – Photo Journalist, San Francisco Chronicle
  • Barbara Grady – Freelance Journalist
  • Tim Redmond – Executive Editor, San Francisco Bay Guardian
  • Steven T. Jones – City Desk Editor, San Francisco Bay Guardian
  • Sandy Close – Founder, New American Media
  • Melissa Griffin – Columnist, San Francisco Examiner
  • Carolyn Tyler – Reporter, ABC 7 News
  • Lila LaHood – Publisher, San Francisco Public Press