Photo: Rich Dagel,
San Francisco Magazine

Michael Stoll is a journalist, media critic and journalism educator. He is executive director of the San Francisco Public Press, a nonprofit, public-interest news project for the San Francisco Bay Area that aims to do for web and print what public broadcasting has done for radio and television.

He currently teaches journalism to undergraduates at the University of San Francisco. Previously he taught editing and reporting at San Jose State University's School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Stoll has been a reporter at the Hartford Courant, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the San Francisco Examiner. He has written freelance for Columbia Journalism Review, Earth Island Journal, SF Weekly, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Quill and the Christian Science Monitor. Other freelance assignments include the San Jose Mercury News, the Miami Herald, E/The Environmental magazine, San Francisco Magazine and SF Weekly. In the late 1990s he reported as a stringer for the Metro section of the New York Times.

The Public Press project has garnered attention in the world of journalism reform, featured in postings, and PBS MediaShift, and examined by publications including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and Der Spiegel. Along with independent publisher McSweeney's, producer of the San Francisco Panorama newspaper, the Public Press was the recipient, in the news media category, of the 2010 James Madison Freedom of Information Award from the Society of Professional Journalists Northern California chapter. The Public Press got a boost last year when Stoll was invited to write an imaginary retrospective of the project from five years in the future for Columbia Journalism Review.

From 2003 to 2006 Stoll served as associate director of Grade the News, where his work received recognition from Columbia Journalism Review for exposing the deceptive practices of local television news producers in San Jose and across the country.

In 2006, Grade the News won two national journalism awards: the Mongerson Prize for Investigative Reporting on the Media from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the Professional Freedom and Responsibility Award, presented at the annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in San Francisco.

He is an active member of the Bay Area freedom-of-information community, an adviser to the non-profit online news project, and board member of the Society of Professional Journalists' Northern California chapter. He is an alumnus of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. He lives in San Francisco.