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

Students are paired with mentors at the outset of the summer program, and are asked to create an education plan to follow with their mentors over the eight weeks. Education plans may include how to cover labor reporting, writing punchier ledes or headlines, or how to incorporate multimedia into their reporting, among other ideas. Many journalists from across California have signed on as mentors.

Bay News Rising wishes to thank all of the following mentors for volunteering their time and wisdom to educate student journalists in the Bay Area.

Bay News Rising volunteer mentors:

  • Lila LaHood – Publisher, San Francisco Public Press
  • Sean McCourt – Entertainment Calendar Editor at Bay City News Service, contributing writer at the SF Bay Guardian and Santa Cruz Sentinel
  • Joan Lisetor – Previously reported for Marina Independent Journal, taught Journalism at College of Marin, current writer and producer of documentaries for Lifestories DVD
  • Tim Redmond – Executive Editor at San Francisco Bay Guardian
  • Wayne Heuring – Previously Copy Editor at Milwaukee Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Main News Copy San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle, current volunteer at Consumer Watch Bay Area Channel 5 (KPIX TV)
  • Michael Cabanatuan – Transportation News Reporter for San Francisco Chronicle, previously reporter for The Modesto Bee and the West County Times
  • Matthew Bajko – Assistant Editor at Bay Area Reporter, correspondent for Out QNews
  • Leslie Smartt – Previously reporter for Associated Press, currently Regional Field Director for the Obama campaign in Northern California
  • Linda Foley – President of Berger Marks Foundation, previously reporter and copy editor for the Lexington Herald-Leader and Vice President/President of The Newspaper Guild-CWA
  • Amy Lynn Alexander – Content Promotion Manager at The Chronicle of Higher Education, freelance journalist whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, NPR,, and The Nation
  • Heather Murtagh – Reporter for the San Mateo Daily Journal, with work previously appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle and Parenting on the Peninsula
  • Louise Chu – Current freelance journalist, previously Northern California Breaking News Supervisor for the Associated Press
  • Matthew Sumner – Photojournalist for the Media News Group at the San Mateo County Times, previously freelanced for the New York Times, SF Chronicle, Associated Press and more
  • Lea Suzuki – Photojournalist at the San Francisco Chronicle
  • Richard Knee – A journalist for 40 years, has worked for the L.A. Daily News as a reporter and in copy, regularly featured in Transport Topics Publications
  • Paolo Vescia – Environmental portrait photographer, freelancer for the San Francisco Business Times, magazines, and more