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

Give to Grade the News!


Why support Grade the News?

GTN is an award-wining, independent online resource for Bay Area residents. Without us to scrutinize their operations, newspapers might feel free to have ad salespeople write restaurant reviews praising their advertisers, as two local papers have done. Or run Realtor-written stories posing as real news, as three papers have done. TV news stations might claim other news outlets' work for their own, or run all crime all the time as a cheap way to fill the newscast. Local news directors and editors may not like us, but they listen to us.
Grade the News is pioneering local, strictly non-partisan, quantitative reporting based on social-science methods focused exclusively on the quality of journalism.
But we can't do this without resources. Your donation will go toward salaries for the GTN staff, technology improvements allowing us to upgrade aging equipment and Web site interface, and stipends for interns at San Jose State University.

Grade the News depends on your tax-deductible* contributions to continue to publish investigative reporting, quantitative analyses and commentaries on journalism in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Because we critique the local news media, we can't take money from news organizations. We survive on foundation grants and pledges from individuals who want to see journalism improved and the public informed about how to hold the press accountable.

You can give any amount by credit card by following this link to the San Jose State University Foundation, our fiscal sponsor:

Go to San Jose State University Foundation's secure online giving page

IMPORTANT! Where it asks for the "purpose" of the donation, leave the drop-down menu in the default setting and write in the line below, "Grade the News."

You can also send donations by snail-mail. Make out your check to "SJSU Foundation for Grade the News." Send it to:

Grade the News
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
San Jose State University
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0055

Thanks for helping to keep Grade the News online!


*Grade the News' expenses are administered by a fiscal sponsor, the San Jose State University Foundation, which is authorized to receive tax-deductible contributions.

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.