Pacific News Service

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Pacific News Service "was founded in 1969 by Orville Schell (now a noted author, journalist and Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California-Berkeley) and UC-Berkeley historian and sociologist Franz Schurmann (former head of the Center for Chinese Studies and author of numerous books on China and on foreign affairs). Its original purpose was to provide mainstream newspapers with an independent source of expertise and reportage on the U.S. Role in Indochina during the Vietnam War. Each week it produced and syndicated – and continues to syndicate – six to eight newspaper articles to mainstream newspaper subscribers, weeklies and alternative publications, college newspapers and the ethnic press.

"In late 1974, with the end of the war, PNS reoriented its focus from the Far East to the United States, and especially California, under the direction of Executive Editor Sandy Close, formerly China editor of the Hong Kong-based Far Eastern Economic Review and the founder and publisher of The Flatlands, an inner city bi-weekly newsletter in Oakland, California. Under Close's direction, PNS specialized in identifying and reporting on then little-noted but epoch-making trends like immigration, the computer/information revolution, the spread of religious fundamentalism, the isolation of inner cities, America's growing enmeshment with Mexico and Central America, the emergence of a new generation of isolated, marginalized and violent young people, and the shifting landscape of race relations in California where racial and ethnic minorities were replacing whites as the state's new majority population...

"PNS also began developing and disseminating "youth voices" through the daily press, launching in 1991 our own monthly youth magazine called "YO! Youth Outlook," and co-founding the now independent, Berkeley based Youth Radio. In 1995, PNS co-produced a film profiling Mark O'Brian, a poet and long time contributor who spent his life in an iron lung. The film won the 1997 Academy Award for best short documentary.

"In 1995, Executive Editor Sandy Close won a MacArthur "genius" award for developing what the MacArthur Foundation described as "an innovative national news service on a shoestring budget."...

"Today, PNS produces content – daily newspaper stories, film, radio, Internet websites – that integrates ethnic, mainstream and youth media, creating what USC Annenberg School for Communication Dean Geoff Cowan calls "a new and inclusive journalism in the West" that could help reenergize American news media. Partnering with USC Annenberg School for Communication's Institute for Justice and Journalism, NCM is also pioneering a new multilingual polling capability directed by noted Spanish language pollster Sergio Bendixen." [1]


Web: (their website now forwards you to New America Media)

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  1. History, Pacific News Service, accessed October 22, 2008.