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“Saving San Francisco”

Excellence in Local Video Storytelling

NBC Bay Area (San Jose, California), 2023


Through dogged reporting and elegant storytelling, the investigative team at NBC Bay Area, KNTV, laid bare some of the deepest problems plaguing one of the nation’s wealthiest cities.  

Focusing on the disturbing, but compelling story of one man’s 20-year struggle with homelessness, mental health and substance abuse problems, the six-part, online series “Saving San Francisco” drew attention to many of the deeper issues active in a community better known for its stunning views and progressive reputation.  

“Saving San Francisco” focused on homelessness, crime, drug abuse and a broken criminal justice system that struggles to keep pace. The documentary series relied on data-driven journalism, frank interviews with public officials and high-quality video production values. 

One unexpected outcome: The series drew law enforcement’s attention to a public official who ended up pleading guilty to accepting bribes.   

Following the series, San Francisco’s mayor expanded mental health and substance abuse services with a pledge to focus on those who need the services the most but are among the most difficult to reach.