Student Sylvie Sturm Critiques San Francisco Media Coverage of Homelessness

Tuesday, August 06, 2019
Photo of Sylvie Sturm standing in front of screen showing unhoused man next to a tent
At the Undergraduate Research Showcase on May 8, Sylvie Sturm discusses coverage of Bay Area homelessness.

SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC PRESS -- Sylvie Sturm is a journalist and a recent graduate of San Francisco State University. For a research project, she compiled and analyzed hundreds of articles and columns published in the San Francisco Bay Area about homelessness, starting with the 2016 effort led by the San Francisco Chronicle to create an annual media blitz, the SF Homeless Project. Sturm coded each article for its framing and focus, and also interviewed reporters, advocates, government officials and editors about how media cover homelessness. She then created a video summary of her findings.

“We all know that politics is partially about votes and about the perception of the politician doing well and the city doing well,” Sturm said. “And that’s not to say that the government isn’t working very, very hard to do what it can to solve this problem and to help people who are unhoused. But to take everything that they say at their word? I mean, we are reporters, we are journalists; we should do a little bit of legwork.”