Evaluating print and broadcast news in the San Francisco Bay Area from A to F.

SFSU Journalism 666 Resource Page

Posted Oct. 5, 2004
Updated Nov. 16, 2004

Data Analysis




If you need additional news scorecards or instructions, you're at the right place. Click on what you need below:




Frequently asked questions


Q. I'm a student in the Journalism 666 Ethics class, and had a quick question about the Grade the News Project. I'm researching the San Jose Mercury News, and was a little confused on which sections to cover. Is it the first page of every section, or the first page of the actual paper and the local section, like "Bay Area" for the San Francisco Chronicle, that is covered?

I know a few of the students in class were a little confused on that, so if you could respond back to me, that would be GREAT :)!!! And also, if we do need to cover the first page of the local section, do you know what the local section is for the San Jose Mercury News? If not, that's okay, but if so, that's great...I was just trying to get a heads up! Thank you, and hope to hear from you soon :)!!!

Talk to you later,
Elly Swetz
SFSU Journalism student

A: Elly,

Grade all the stories beginning on the front page, 1A, plus all the stories beginning on the section called "Local News." Depending on where you buy it, it could also be called "The Peninsula" or "The Valley," etc. The Merc zones -- publishes a slightly different local edition for different areas of their circulation. It's usually the "B" section, almost always the second news section after "A." It's also the only section front with general -- not sports or business or arts and entertainment -- news.

Note for the Contra Costa Times, the local news is always on A3, not a separate section weekdays.


What do you think? Discuss it in The Coffeehouse.


A project of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at San Jose State University, Grade the News is affiliated with the Graduate Program in Journalism at Stanford University and KTEH, public television in Silicon Valley.

Monitoring the Bay Area's most popular news media:

Contra Costa Times

Knight Ridder

San Francisco Chronicle


San Jose Mercury News

Knight Ridder

KTVU, Oakland (FOX)

KTVU, Oakland (FOX)

KRON, San Francisco

KRON, San Francisco

KPIX, San Francisco (CBS)

KPIX, San Francisco (CBS)

KGO, San Francisco (ABC)

KGO, San Francisco (ABC)

KNTV, San Jose (NBC)

KNTV, San Jose (NBC)


Bay Area media advocates:

Media Alliance
Center for the Integration and Improvement of Journalism at SFSU
Maynard Institute
Youth Media Council
Project Censored
New California Media
Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California chapter
National Writers Union Bay Area chapter

Site highlights


The three-part series follows the rise of three Bay Area handouts:
• Part 1: At free dailies, advertisers sometimes call the shots
• Part 2: Free daily papers: more local but often superficial
• Part 3: Free papers' growth threatens traditional news
• See also: SF Examiner and Independent agree to end payola restaurant reviews
• And: The free tabloid that wasn't: East Bay's aborted Daily Flash


Lou Alexander started a firestorm with his original guest commentary predicting the company would be sold. Several other experts on newspapers have weighed in:
Newspapers can't cut their way back into Wall Street investors' hearts, by Stephen R. Lacy; Alexander responds
Humbler profits won't encourage buyouts, by John Morton; Alexander responds
Newspapers can't maintain monopoly profits because they've lost their monopolies, by Philip Meyer
Knight Ridder in grave jeopardy, by Lou Alexander...


Leakers and plumbers: There's no difference between a good leak and a bad leak? Journalists need a shield law. 11/22/05
Unintended consequences: How Craigslist and similar services are sucking revenue from faltering newspapers. 9/13/05
Is CPB irrelevant? As Congress moves to cut public broadcasting funds, has CPB become obsolete in the modern marketplace. 6/26/05
The paradox of news: There's more news available and its cheaper than ever before, but fewer young people are interested. 5/12/05


Most recent updatesHow the Bay Area's most popular media stack up.Talk about Bay Area journalism in our on-line discussion forum. A printable news scorecard you can use at home or in school. Raves and rants aimed at the local media. What would you do if you were the editor? Upcoming happenings and calls for public action. Let 'em know! Contact a local newsroom.Codes of ethics, local media advocates and journalism tools. Tip us off about the local media, or tell us how we're doing.Oops.A comprehensive list of past GTN exclusives.