Our goal is to make hard news easy. The City can be a complicated place, and our mission is to cover San Francisco economics and policy with accuracy and clarity — without taking too much of your valuable time.
We chose the name Public Comment because of the Latin roots of both words. Public means “of the people.” Comment comes from the word meaning “to expound, explain, or interpret.” Our goal is to expound, explain, and interpret San Francisco in a way a busy public can digest.
We believe you shouldn’t need decades of insider knowledge to understand how San Francisco works — and doesn’t work. We aim to deliver original reporting grounded in facts, data and reliable sources, and to present them in a way that anyone can understand. Our hope is that Public Comment will shine a light on the policies, politics and underlying debates that will shape San Francisco's future.
As a brand-new publication, Public Comment’s editorial coverage and operations will grow and evolve over time. But our core values of clarity and accuracy will never change. We welcome feedback and strive for transparency with our readers.
The writers and editors of Public Comment prioritize their ethical responsibilities. If any conflict arises in the course of reporting — close personal relationships with sources, financial interests in a topic, or current political activism related to a story — we’ll let you know, or remove the conflicted person from the story. Our opinion pieces will always be clearly marked, so you’ll never have to guess what is a reported fact and what is an author’s view.
Public Comment has complete editorial independence from any financial donors. We are supported through seed funding in the near term, but our goal is to reach financial independence as soon as possible. Financial supporters have no role whatsoever in choosing, assigning, shaping, editing or vetting the stories we write.
In an era when longtime, trusted news sources are dismissed as “fake” and skewed opinion declares itself “fair and balanced,” Public Comment’s goal is to cultivate trust in local news and bring thoughtful discussion to the debate -- all while keeping our readers’ busy lives in mind. Over time, we may evolve our coverage, channels, or formats, and our advertising. But at every step, we will be committed to doing so in a way that places our readers first.
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Annie Gaus is the Editor-in-Chief of Public Comment. Prior to joining Public Comment, Annie was a business and technology reporter whose work can be seen on TheStreet, The San Francisco Business Times, The Guardian, Vice News, Daily Beast and elsewhere.
Follow her on Twitter at @anniegaus