Read, see and hear all about it

The newsboy’s call to “read all about it” has faded into memory. The once-iconic television test pattern no longer signals the end of the broadcast day. Even the thud of the newspaper landing on the porch is giving way to a vibrant digital age that combines text, sound and video.

The vast changes marking the evolution of modern media have been compressed into little more than a century and a half. And nowhere has the experimentation, invention and innovation been more dramatic than in Northern California, beginning with the state’s first newspaper and continuing into the era of social media.

In this short video tour, you’ll witness some of the entertaining, powerful and sublime moments in Northern California media history. After your tour, explore the rest of the website to see more of the region’s contributions to the world of print, radio, television and digital communications.

History lives on at SF State television archive

Alex Cherian reviews historical programming. Photo by Jocelyn McMahon-Babalis.

Powerful images and historic events come to life in the San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive. The collection includes more than 4,000 hours of film and video depicting programming produced from 1939 to 2005. See news, documentaries and programs from…

Pioneers of Sportscasting


In the early days of sportscasting, the roar of the crowd and the crack of the bat didn’t always come from the ballpark. Dick Meister, a longtime Bay Area journalist, describes how the radio play-by-play sometimes came from creative announcers…

When scoops were king

Paul Avery

Back in the days of epic circulation wars, even non-news could find its way to the top of the front page, promoted in bold type. When the news was big, headlines screamed for months on end as newspapers battled to…

Recalling Jonestown, Moscone and Milk

Jim Jones

In November 1978 two of the biggest news stories in San Francisco’s history occurred in rapid succession: Jonestown and the assassinations of George Moscone and Harvey Milk. This is a first person report. By James A. Finefrock I awoke before…

The Bay Guardian dies, yet the spirit lives

The final cover

In October 2014, the San Francisco Bay Guardian shut its doors after 48 years of publishing under founder Bruce B. Brugmann’s adage that “It is a newspaper’s duty to print the news and raise hell,” a 19th century motto from…

California’s 1st Paper


The first newspaper in California launched in Monterey on Aug. 15, 1846, with a blockbuster story: news of the declaration of war with Mexico. The paper, named The Californian, was founded by pioneering publishers Dr. Walter Colton and Robert Baylor…

A Giant in Television


He was little known, yet he changed the world. He often worked alone in his laboratory, yet he battled the Goliath of his time, RCA. His inventions made possible the sublime, educational, inspirational programming that comes directly into our living…

Publishers Hall of Fame


The California Press Association gives public recognition to outstanding newspaper people of the state, past and present, with the most coveted award being election to the California Newspaper Publishers Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame selections recognize career achievements of…

The Pulitzer Prize


From 1934 through 2010, Northern California publications made their mark by winning the highest honor in newspapers: the Pulitzer Prize. Celebrated court cases, natural disasters, tax frauds, spectacular accidents and amazing photography all provided the material for great journalism.  …