ProPublica, "a non-profit newsroom producing journalism in the public interest" founded by former Wall Street Journal managing editor Paul Steiger last October, has hired Jake Bernstein as a reporter, according to a press release. Bernstein has been with the Observer since 2002, and before that, he worked at Miami New Times. In the same release, ProPublica announced another AAN-alum hire: Former San Francisco Bay Guardian and SF Weekly staff writer A.C. Thompson has also been hired as a reporter.

Continue ReadingTexas Observer Executive Editor Heads to ProPublica

The San Francisco Police Department has admitted that it secretly searched the phone records for calls made from the press room at the city's Hall of Justice, the local NBC affiliate reports. The snooping was first revealed in a Sept. 27 SF Weekly article by A.C. Thompson. "Dealing with a leak problem of its own in 2003, the police department used HP-style tactics, covertly examining the phone records -- reflecting 2,478 phone calls -- of journalists covering the department," Thompson wrote. "By doing so, the SFPD could quickly identify any anonymous tipsters or inside sources within the department who communicated with the reporters." The department spokesperson told SF Weekly that the investigation was legal because the department owned the phone lines that were involved.

Continue ReadingSF Weekly Reveals Cops Checked Reporters’ Phone Records

"When you talk about secrecy and indefinite detention, the problem is bigger than most people realize," SF Weekly Staff Writer A.C. Thompson tells In These Times magazine. Thompson has co-authored a new book, Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIA's Rendition Flights, with Trevor Paglen, an expert on clandestine military installations. The pair also discussed the book on the Sept. 15 Democracy Now! program, where Thompson told interviewer Amy Goodman, "I've written about police abuse in America for many years and about people being abused in American prisons. But the sort of similarity of the stories we heard from prisoners [in CIA facilities], the intensity of them, it kind of took us aback a little bit, and it was pretty gripping."

Continue ReadingSF Weekly Writer Exposes CIA ‘Torture Taxi’ in New Book

Adam Clay Thompson has won the 2005 George Polk Award for Local Reporting, Editor & Publisher reports. Thompson, a senior writer for the San Francisco Bay Guardian, won for his series "Forgotten City," which exposed poor living conditions in San Francisco's public housing. The Polk Awards have been awarded by Long Island University since 1949.

Continue ReadingBay Guardian Writer Wins George Polk Award