Trainers & Presenters

Rose Aguilar
Reporter and Host, “Your Call,” KALW 91.7 FM

Rose Aguilar is the host of “Your Call,” a daily call-in radio show on KALW 91.7 FM in San Francisco and KUSP 88.9 FM in Santa Cruz. It airs from 10-11am and can be heard online: Rose writes op-eds for Al Jazeera English and is the author of “Red Highways: A Journey into the Heartland.” She has reported for AlterNet, Truthout, and The Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

Justin Beck
Independent Journalist & Lecturer, SF State University

Justin Beck is a lecturer in the Journalism Department at San Francisco State University. He is also an independent journalist, media consultant, live streamer and photographer. Justin previously worked for the San Francisco Chronicle as a multimedia producer; the National Radio Project as a reporter, host and producer; and as a public affairs director and DJ for KDVS-FM in Davis, California. His work in radio has been heard on 200 public and community stations around the U.S. His photography has been featured in San Francisco Magazine and on Bay Area blogs, including SFist and Curbed SF.

Email: | Twitter: @pixplz

Mike Billings
Assistant Managing Editor, The San Francisco Examiner

Mike Billings is the assistant managing editor at The San Francisco Examiner. He has worked at newspapers covering San Francisco and San Mateo County for nine years, and he has worked as a copy editor, editor, online editor and reporter.



Martina Castro
Managing Editor, KALW 91.7 FM

Martina Castro is an award-winning radio producer and editor based in San Francisco. She is currently managing editor of KALW News 91.7 FM, and also co-founder and senior producer of “Radio Ambulante,” a Spanish-language radio podcast. Martina worked for five years with National Public Radio as a producer and trainer. Her independent work has been featured nationally on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered,” and “Day to Day.”

Email: | Twitter: @martinacastro

Meghann Farnsworth
Senior Manager, Distribution and Online Engagement, Center for Investigative Reporting

Meghann FarnsworthMeghann Farnsworth manages distribution and online community building for the Center for Investigative Reporting, where she works with editors, reporters and multimedia producers to create comprehensive distribution strategies in print, radio, television and online media outlets, as well as blogs, online communities and social media. In addition, she develops and maintains media partnerships and collaborations.

E-mail: | Twitter: @meghannCIR

Jon Funabiki
Professor of Journalism, SF State University
Executive Director, Renaissance Journalism

Jon Funabiki, whose career spans journalism, philanthropy and academia, is a professor of journalism at San Francisco State University, where he founded Renaissance Journalism in 2009. He joined the university after an 11-year career with the Ford Foundation as the deputy director of its Media, Arts and Culture Unit. Jon is the former founding director of San Francisco State’s Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism and a former journalist with The San Diego Union, where he specialized in U.S.-Asia political and economic affairs.

Email: | Twitter: @funabiki, @rjcmedia

Jesse Garnier
Editor & Founder,

Jesse Garnier is editor and founder of, a Bay Area news startup. He also teaches online journalism at San Francisco State University. Previously, Jesse led newsroom teams in New York for the Associated Press and in San Francisco for the Chronicle and the Examiner. Since 1997, he has created Web sites for news organizations and community groups, including the Mission District-based El Tecolote. A San Francisco native, Jesse is a member of the Online News Association and the Asian American Journalists Association.

Email: | Twitter: @jesse_garnier

Tomoko A. Hosaka
News & Politics Manager, Ustream

Tomoko A. Hosaka is the news and politics manager at Ustream, where she oversees news content, strategy and partnerships. Tomoko is an experienced international journalist who moved home to Silicon Valley last year after a decade in Asia. She most recently worked for the AP in Tokyo and was part of its award-winning team that covered the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. She serves on the governing board of the Asian American Journalists Association and is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Email: | Twitter: @tomokohosaka

Rachele Kanigel
Associate Professor of Journalism, SF State University

Rachele Kanigel is an associate professor of journalism at San Francisco State University, where she advises the student newspaper, Golden Gate Xpress, and teaches writing, reporting and magazine courses. She was a daily newspaper reporter for 15 years and has freelanced for magazines and Web sites, including Time, U.S. News & World Report, and Prevention. She is the author of “The Student Newspaper Survival Guide” and the executive director of ieiMedia, which sponsors journalism study-abroad programs.

Email: | Twitter: @jourprof

Kathy Lim Ko
President & C.E.O., Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

Kathy Lim Ko is president and C.E.O. of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, which influences policy and strengthens organizations to mobilize communities to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Kathy has worked in the community and in philanthropy throughout her 30-year career. She has worked in health care settings across the country and served on many boards. Kathy graduated from Harvard School of Public Health and Stanford University.

Sally Lehrman
Knight Ridder Endowed Chair in Journalism, Santa Clara University

Sally Lehrman holds Santa Clara University’s Knight Ridder Endowed Chair in Journalism and the Public Interest. As an independent journalist, she specializes in identity, race relations and gender within the context of medicine and science. Byline credits include Scientific American, Health,, The New York Times, Nature, The Boston Globe and “The DNA Files,” the NPR-distributed documentary series for which her team won the Peabody Award and the DuPont-Columbia. She was a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford. Sally is author of “News in a New America” and is working on “Skin Deep: The Search for Race in Our Genes,” under contract with Oxford University Press.

Ethel Long-Scott
Executive Director, Women’s Economic Agenda Project

Ethel Long-Scott is the executive director of the Oakland-based Women’s Economic Agenda Project, (WEAP), which seeks to eradicate poverty. She is known nationally and internationally for devoting her life to the education and leadership of people at the losing end of society, especially women of color. In 2003, Essence Magazine gave Ethel one of its first “Street Warrior” awards “for courage and sacrifice, vision and commitment to community and the advancement of our people.” Her social justice work s is spotlighted in the Ford Foundation’s “Close to Home,” a publication that presents 13 case studies of human rights work that is making life better for people in America.

Stephen Magagnini
Race, Ethnicity & Immigration Reporter, The Sacramento Bee

Stephen Magagnini has covered race, ethnicity and immigration for The Sacramento Bee since 1994, and been honored twice for Distinguished Diversity Writing by the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE), as well as receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award for “Outstanding Coverage of Race and Ethnicity in America” by Columbia Journalism School. His stories on Hmong refugees and Japanese reparations have appeared in the anthologies “Best Newspaper Writing 2001” and “Best Newspaper Writing 2002,” respectively. He was awarded a Stanford Knight Fellowship in 2001-2002.

Julia Harumi Mass
Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California

Julia Harumi Mass is a staff attorney at the ACLU of Northern California, with current areas of focus in immigrants’ rights and national security. Her immigrants’ rights work challenges both federal immigration policies and practices and local police practices that particularly impact immigrant communities. Prior to joining the ACLU in 2003, Julia worked as a union lawyer in Pasadena, California, and clerked for the Honorable Warren J. Ferguson on the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Susan Mernit
Editor & Publisher, Oakland Local

Susan Mernit is the editor and publisher of Oakland Local, a news and community hub for Oakland. Previously, she was a vice president at AOL and Netscape; a senior director at Yahoo; and a consulting program manager for the Knight News Challenge. In 2011, she launched “Code for Oakland”, a one-day tech event focused on building apps to serve the Oakland community. In 2012, Susan was a Stanford Carlos McClatchy Fellow. She loves metrics and data and has presented on this topic at many venues, including at the Knight Digital Media Center at USC and at the Online News Association conference.

Email: | Twitter: @susanmernit, @oaklandlocal

Terry Parris Jr.
Community Manager, Ustream

Terry Parris Jr. spent nearly five years in Detroit as a reporter and editor for media startups. He moved out to the Bay Area to edit two hyperlocal news sites for Currently he is the community manager for news at Ustream, working mainly with citizen reporters, hyperlocal sites and independent media.

Email: | Twitter: @terryparrisjr

Raul Ramirez
Executive Director of News & Public Affairs, KQED Public Radio

Raul Ramirez is the executive director of News and Public Affairs at KQED Public Radio, where he has worked since 1991, when he became the station’s news director. He has worked as reporter for The Miami Herald and The Washington Post, and as a reporter and editor for the Oakland Tribune and the San Francisco Examiner. Raul has won numerous awards for local, national and international reporting, including a Thomas Storke Award from the World Affairs Council of Northern California for his reporting on a family’s journey from China’s Guangdong Province to the Bay Area.

Beth Renneisen
Visual Journalist & Lecturer, SF State University

Beth Renneisen is a visual journalist, writer and illustrator. She is currently an instructor and lecturer at San Francisco State’s Journalism Department, where she teaches publication and iPad design. Previously she was the graphics editor at the Marin Independent Journal in Marin County and a contributing features writer and photographer for Gannett News Service. In 2010, Beth earned a master’s degree in visual journalism from San Francisco State, with an emphasis on experimental approaches to online design, including animation, virtual worlds and short-form video.

Michelle Romero
Director of Claiming Our Democracy Initiative, The Greenlining Institute

Michelle Romero is the director of the Claiming Our Democracy Initiative at The Greenlining Institute, a racial justice advocacy organization. Michelle has five years of experience in legislative advocacy and organizing around immigration, education, voting rights and elections policy issues. In 2010-11, she led the Institute’s statewide civic engagement campaign to involve communities of color in California’s historic citizen redistricting process. Michelle has expertise in issues management and civic engagement and coalition-building strategies.

Viji Sundaram
Health Editor, New America Media

Viji Sundaram is the health editor at New America Media, a Web-based news service for the ethnic media in the United States. Prior to joining New America Media, she was a reporter at India-West, a national newspaper for the South Asian community, the Cape Cod Times, the Providence Journal and the New Bedford Standard Times. In the last decade, Viji has won eight journalism awards, including two for investigative reporting for her national expose on McDonald’s use of beef in its so-called vegetarian French fries. Her series of stories on Women and AIDS in India won an award as well.

Scot Tucker
Director of Photography,

Scot Tucker has been teaching photojournalism at San Francisco State University since 2006. He previously worked as a staff photographer and picture editor at the Napa Valley Register, San Mateo County Times, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Chronicle/ and the Associated Press. In addition to his teaching duties, Scot currently serves as the director of photography at An alumnus of San Francisco State, he received a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2000 and a master’s degree in instructional design in 2010.


Venise Wagner
Associate Professor and Chair, Journalism Department, SF State University

Venise Wagner is an associate professor of journalism and chair of the department at San Francisco State University. She spent 12 years as a reporter for various California dailies, including the Hearst-owned San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle. While at the Examiner, she covered education and issues in the Bay Area’s black communities. Venise was also a religion and ethics reporter for The Orange County Register and The Modesto Bee. At San Francisco State she developed a journalism curriculum that focuses on improving coverage of marginalized communities and social inequities.

Sherbeam Wright
Communications Consultant and Brand Strategist

Sherbeam Wright is a brand strategist, communications consultant and co-founder of LitHit—an app designed to give short-form writers solutions for turning their lit into a hit. She has extensive experience advising journalists and authors in developing and growing their brands through social media. She has presented at Online News Association, National Association of Blacks in Journalism and Society of Professional Journalists. Sherbeam is a UNITY NewU Entrepreneur Fellow.

E-mail: | Twitter: @Sherbeam