Tom Prete is a former professional newspaper reporter and editor who worked 12 years in the more or less mainstream media, including stints as editorial-page editor of the San Francisco Examiner and managing editor of the San Francisco Independent. After leaving newspapers in 2006, Prete worked for the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association think tank for about a year and a half, ending in September 2007. Now he is an independent writer and editor, but SPUR is still one of his clients. He has been observing San Francisco media, politics, government and city life since about 1980, with a particular focus on City Hall and urban planning.

Contact me

You can call me at 415-685-3428. Comments about blog posts or my blog in general are best made on the blog itself, but if you need to reach me for other purposes, please call. Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/tomprete. I’m on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/tomprete, though I don’t use Facebook much.

I’m available for editing and writing work, as well as writing and reporting coaching for individuals and small groups.


I’m sometimes asked whether I’m still a journalist, and whether I consider my blog and my tweets to be journalism. I suppose the only answer I can give is that sometimes I am, and sometimes they are. I know that’s not the clearest answer, so think of my blog and most of my tweets as roughly equivalent to a newspaper column. I often have an opinion, but I always try to be fair and factual.

I will inform readers of any situation I think could possibly represent an economic interest that might be viewed as influencing my writing. I’ve never received an offer lucrative enough to influence what I write, though.

I generally don’t edit or remove people’s comments to my posts. But if you expect my blog to be a vehicle for your abuse of other readers, for your suggestions that readers hurt other people or for your libelous statements, forget it.

4 Responses to About

  1. I’m writing from KQED Public Broadcasting in San Francisco – We recently did a radio story on the traffic congestion tax San Francisco may implement for driving downtown during commute hours for QUEST – our multimedia series on environment, science and nature.

    We thought your readers might find this story to be a good point of discussion and present background for them on the tax’s pros and cons – it’s posted in its entirety online. Listeners can also take our poll and respond to blog postings on the topic.

    The Traffic Tax:

    Thanks, and let me know if you have any questions.

    -Janelle Marker
    Content Intern, Quest
    KQED, Northern California Public Broadcasting
    2601 Mariposa Street
    San Francisco, CA 94110
    E: jmarker@kqed.org
    Web: http://www.kqed.org/quest

  2. culturepress says:

    I’m glad to have stumbled upon your site. I live in San Francisco myself; I’m a very progressive voter; and I am frequently aggravated by SF politics!

  3. My name is Andrea Brambila and I am a reporter for News21, a national news initiative based at UC Berkeley. My team is constructing a site called BARThood.org, which focuses on the communities around BART stations. Part of our project is visualizing data from BART’s latest profile study, which breaks down ridership by income, ethnicity, travel mode to station, etc. We are also doing stories related to the data in the study. One of our stories concerns ridership at 16th Street Mission – at this station 17 percent of riders for whom this station is their home station are Latino. Yet, the population around this station is 40 percent Latino. Therefore, we’re trying to figure out if this discrepancy is significant and what it might mean, which is where you can hopefully help us. We’d like to give this point some context to see if it is significant, what factors might be at play, how it compares to Latino participation in other transit systems, how other ethnic groups use transit systems to see if there’s a difference, and if there is, why that might be. Do you think you can comment on this statistic or can point us to someone who can? (I’ve tried calling you using the number above, but it seems to no longer work.) We would also welcome any particular insights you might have about where else we should direct our research.

    Best regards,


    Andrea V. Brambila
    Multimedia Reporter & Producer
    News 21: Excellence in Innovative Storytelling
    Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education
    E-mail: Andrea.Brambila@news21.com

  4. Kate Fink says:

    Hello… my name is Kate Fink. I’m a Ph.D student in Communications at Columbia University. I am researching how people value journalism, and am currently studying spot.us. I have corresponded already with David Cohn, and am also interested in talking with reporters about their experience using spot.us. I found your contact information through my own online search; spot.us does not disclose your personal information. If you’re willing to answer a few questions over the phone or in e-mail, please reply to this and let me know the best way to get in touch with you. Thanks!

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