Bay News Rising Students Deliver Hard-Hitting Stories

SAN FRANCISCO – The 2018 Bay News Rising class delivered a series of compelling articles tackling some of the more intractable issues of our time, including immigration, mental health and police shootings.

Bay News Rising matches professional journalists and union staff with college reporters who want to improve their skills in news gathering and long-form storytelling. The students, who are paid a stipend for their work, are expected to deliver their projects on-time and with the goal of having their work published.

This year’s crop of stellar student scribes relied upon shoe-leather reporting, formal information requests and a range of multi-media tools to craft their stories.

Through his reporting, Cal Berkeley student Simon Campbell uncovered a startling fact: defendants in immigration court without an attorney are five times more likely to be deported. But legal representation often isn’t available.

Campbell’s story focused on Raul Lopez, who immigrated to the United States from Guatemala three decades ago and is now fighting deportation following Lopez’s arrest on a DUI charge. Lopez is one of an estimated 40,000 allegedly undocumented immigrants in detention awaiting possible deportation.

Sarah Carpenter, a Laney College student, examined BART’s police force, which has faced criticism in the wake of officer-involved shootings targeting people of color.

Veteran newsman and Bay News Rising Editor Bill Snyder praises students for their stellar work at an end-of-class celebration Aug. 8 at Word Cafe in San Francisco.

BART contends its police force has changed dramatically in recent years, including changes in leadership, clearer rules about the use of force and the installation of a civilian review board. But Carpenter found that there have been more killings of men of color by BART police, and incidents involving the use of force by officers have more than doubled since 2010, fueling criticism the department has not changed nearly enough.

Other stories to be published soon include Myah Overstreet’s look at the struggle for adequate mental health treatment within the African-American community, and how a legacy of racism within government and the medical field has exacerbated modern-day problems.

Bay News Rising is a project of the Pacific Media Workers Guild made possible by the labor and contributions of its members.

This year’s program was directed by veteran newsman Bill Snyder with help from Guild Executive Officer Carl Hall, Local President Derek Moore and Administrative Officer Kat Anderson, who founded the program.

Guild leaders hope the program’s graduates will have an impact many years to come, ideally becoming the next generation of Guild leaders and CWA organizers in their future workplaces.

Organizers held an end-of-class celebration for students Aug. 8 at Word. A cafe in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco.

Learn more about the program and read full stories at

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