People don’t trust the news media, and it’s easy to see why. Major news media organizations reported inaccurately that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. They dismissed as a “debunked conspiracy theory” the real possibility that COVID-19 could have escaped from a lab. And they have perpetuated misleading narratives around everything from rainforest destruction to biological sex to crime.

And so we started Public. Our mission is to break big stories on the most important issues of the day, from censorship and cities to mental health and addiction to energy and the environment. This About page describes our ethics and provides contact information for our principal staff and freelancers.

In our short history, we have broken major stories, including on: the role of US and UK military and intelligence officials in creating the Censorship Industrial Complex; the wind industry’s threat to North Atlantic right whales; government censorship of Facebook; the origins of COVID-19; the cover-up of the origins of COVID-19; UFO/UAP whistleblowers; the World Economic Forum’s secretive agenda; San Francisco’s illegal drug consumption site the Twitter Files and the FBI; and Paul Pelosi’s alleged attacker.

In 2023, Public was honored to share the Dao Journalism Prize with Racket and The Free Press for our work on the Twitter Files.


The founders and staff of Public hold ourselves to the highest journalistic and ethical standards. We follow the facts wherever they lead, regardless of ideological, financial, or political concerns. We name and link to claims whenever possible and will provide direct access to source material when appropriate. We believe in, and are in compliance with, the Society of Professional Journalists’ four-part Code of Ethics and with Newsguard’s nine-part Reliability Rating.

We believe that we have, as reporters, an obligation to serve as watchdogs over powerful institutions, individuals, and attitudes. We believe it’s in the public interest for issues affecting the public to be reported upon and debated openly and without fear. We support the free and civil exchange of information and views.

We are concerned by what is called “misinformation,” “disinformation,” and “malinformation,” as well as the way governments and unaccountable private actors have used them as predicates for demanding censorship. We thus seek to debunk frequently-repeated misinformation in the first part of our articles, which we give away for free before any paywall. And we have taken a public stand in support of strong free speech standards worldwide.

Fairness and Accuracy

We strive for accuracy. We aim to be first but will not sacrifice accuracy for speed. We believe context is everything and take care not to oversimplify or sensationalize.

We correct our stories immediately upon discovering errors, whether of fact or opinion, both here on this website and on Twitter. The founders of Public have written at length about our own errors and why we made them. Our Corrections Policy thus involves not simply correcting the error but also seeking to understand and avoid the reasons for the error in the first place and sharing those lessons with our readers.

We recognize that we are subjective and fallible human beings who are prone to confirmation bias. We thus seek to be aware of our assumptions and test them through fair and accurate reporting. In both news and opinion articles, we seek to “steel-man” two or more sides, making and answering the best possible argument of the other side.


We hold ourselves to the highest standards for accuracy and reliability. We seek out the best-available evidence for every story. We seek out multiple, diverse, and contradictory sources. We have a preference for sources who can provide firsthand information.

We aim for the highest standards of journalistic professionalism. We seek a clear understanding with our sources about what is on the record, what is off, and what is on the background or not for attribution.

We avoid repeating hand-waving, speculation, or rumoring unless such things are necessary to a story and clearly indicated by the author. We aim for accuracy in all our text, including headlines and captions, and in our photography selection, graphics, and art.

We seek to treat all of our sources fairly and respectfully. We tell them immediately who we are and what we are doing. When we provide questions over email, we inform the recipient of what we intend to report so that they know what’s motivating our questions and what we are looking for.

We will seek to be empathic toward all who are impacted by our reporting and seek to use care when dealing with the mentally ill, minors, crime victims, and others who cannot consent to be public figures.

We protect our sources. We will help whistleblowers get their stories out and protect their anonymity. We follow the Pentagon Papers Principle, which holds that reporters have a duty to report information in the public’s interest to hear about, even if it angers powerful individuals in government or the private sector.


We are and will always be transparent about our revenues. We are entirely subscriber-funded. We have no outside investors and currently host no advertising. We are entirely owned by founder Michael Shellenberger and have no outside investors. We have no plan to accept any advertising in the future, but if we were to do so, we would immediately announce this change publicly.


We provide the names, biographies, and contact information for all Public content creators. We require our authors to disclose to us any potential conflicts of interest so that we can avoid them. We welcome tips and pitches from anyone and promise to protect anonymity.

Michael Shellenberger, Founder

CONTACT: Twitter - DMs Open :: Encrypted Email

Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine "Hero of the Environment," Green Book Award winner, Dao Journalism Prize-winner, Founder-President of Environmental Progress, Founder of Public, and the C.B.R. Chair of Politics, Censorship, and Free Speech at the University of Austin. He is the best-selling author of San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities (HarperCollins 2021) and Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All (HarperCollins 2020). 

Michael has broken major stories, including on the Twitter Files, for which he won the 2023 Dao Award for journalism; the Censorship Industrial Complex; San Francisco’s cash incentives for homelessness; the “Amazon Forest are the lungs of the world” myth; climate pseudoscience; climate anxiety; the U.S. government support for fracking; and forest management, climate change, and California’s fires.

Michael offers testimony as a journalist and policy expert to the U.S. Congress on a range of issues covering free speech, censorship, and the environment. He has testified on censorship in Brazil (May 2024); Censorship Industrial Complex, Part 2 (November 2023); AI and censorship (September 2023); climate change and public health (April 2023); Big Tech censorship (March 2023); the Censorship Industrial Complex, Part 1 (March 2023); climate change and the global energy crisis (September 2022); Texas & California electrical grid failures (April 2021); climate change and agriculture (February 2021); climate change and health (August 2020);  climate change and energy (July 2020); and nuclear energy (January 2020).

Michael lives in Berkeley, California. You can follow him on Twitter or email him by clicking here.

Alex Gutentag

CONTACT: Twitter - DMs Open :: Encrypted Email

Alex Gutentag covers censorship, covid, and other issues. Before becoming a journalist, she worked in public schools for eight years, teaching Special Education in New York City and Oakland. She has written extensively about the social and economic impact of covid policies, the suppression of scientific debate, and the long-term consequences of school closures. In addition to reporting for Public, she is a columnist for Tablet magazine and a contributing editor for Compact magazine. 

Alex is originally from Oakland and currently lives in the Bay Area.


Andrew Lowenthal

Andrew Lowenthal is the CEO of liber-net, a digital civil liberties initiative combating digital authoritarianism. Andrew is a writer and researcher. He worked with Matt Taibbi on the Twitter Files, helping break stories on the Virality Project , the Atlantic Council, and Australia’s censorship regime. He worked with Environmental Progress and Michael Shellenberger to coordinate the Westminster Declaration. Andrew is the co-founder and former Executive Director of EngageMedia, an Asia-Pacific digital rights and open technology non-profit, which he led for almost 18 years. He is a former fellow of Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, the Harvard Film Studies Center, and MIT’s Open Documentary Lab.

Beige Luciano-Adams

Beige Luciano-Adams is an investigative reporter covering Los Angeles and statewide issues in California for The Epoch Times and California Insider. She has covered politics, arts, culture, and social issues for a variety of outlets, including LA Weekly and MediaNews Group publications. Reach her at beige.luciano@epochtimesca.com and follow her on X: https://twitter.com/LucianoBeige

Ben Scallan

Ben Scallan⁩ is Senior Political Correspondent with Gript Media, Ireland's leading conservative-leaning news and commentary website.

Brian Gitt

Brian leads business development for Oklo, a startup developing next-generation nuclear technologies to deliver reliable low-cost clean energy 24/7. He spent over two decades building companies in the clean energy industry—first as executive director of a green building trade association, then as CEO of a consulting firm specializing in clean energy. More recently he founded UtilityScore, a software startup that estimated utility costs and savings for 100M+ homes, and he led business development at a hard tech company developing wireless power. He now writes and speaks about the need for energy that’s clean, reliable, and affordable.

Cecílie Jílková

Cecílie Jílková is a Czech writer from a dissident family. After a left-leaning science fiction first novel, journalistic work for the Czech oldest printed daily Lidové noviny, a medical magazine and several detective scenarios, she devoted the next ten years to the topic of natural diet and published four books on the subject. She later returned to prose with her autobiographical novel Father God and Mother Love, which describes her childhood in dissent, her adolescence in the 1990s after the Velvet Revolution, her complicated relationship with her father, and advises readers on the roots of addiction and prevention strategies. Jílková currently publishes on the independent platform Substack, where she addresses the topics of digitalization and the freedom of speech.

Charles Fain Lehman

Charles Fain Lehman is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, working primarily on the Policing and Public Safety Initiative, and a contributing editor of City Journal. His work has appeared in outlets including the Atlantic, the Wall Street JournalNational Affairs, and National Review. He has discussed public safety policy before the House of Representatives and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and at colleges including Carnegie Mellon and Cornell. He is a 2023-24 Robert Novak fellow with the Fund for American Studies. Prior to joining the Manhattan Institute in 2021, Charles was a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. Charles is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and now lives outside Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

Chris Bray

Chris Bray has been a small-town newspaper reporter and an infantryman in the US Army. He has a history PhD from UCLA, and lives near Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.

David Ágape

David Ágape is a Brazilian investigative journalist based in São Paulo. He has freelanced for outlets such as Metrópoles, Revista Oeste, Gazeta do Povo, and Public. He is the founder of "A Investigação," a website that brings a fresh perspective to investigative and collaborative journalism. Ágape was a finalist for the King of Spain International Journalism Prize, the highest award in the Spanish and Portuguese languages, and was nominated for the International True Story Award. 

He worked with journalists Michael Shellenberger and Eli Vieira on the Twitter Files Brazil, which revealed judicial censorship actions, ignited a significant movement advocating for freedom of speech in Brazil, and exposed the operations of the country’s Censorship Industrial Complex.

Denise Champney

Denise Champney is a school based speech language pathologist and owner of Speaking of Social, a private practice supporting individuals with social skill development. She received her masters in Communication Disorders from Emerson College in 1997. Denise writes about issues in education and created the Educational Technology Industrial Complex timeline for Environmental Progress.  She is also a working group member of the screens in schools action network through Fairplay. Denise resides in southern RI and enjoys traveling with her family and 2 dogs.

Eitan Levy Keating

Eitan likes to research crime, human behavior, and the youth. He also edits. Before working with PUBLIC, Eitan worked in data and still enjoys finding the stories within the numbers. Eitan splits time between NYC and the East Bay.

Eric Hobby

Eric Hobby is a venture capitalist with an engineering background. From Houston, Eric attended the University of Virginia before working as an engineering manager at Tesla in the Bay Area and in Austin. He received his MBA from McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas and was a Polaris Fellow at the University of Austin. Eric is an amateur historian who is passionate about the truth. He and his wife now live in Houston.

Gregor Baszak

Gregor Baszak is a writer based in Chicago. His work has appeared in The American Conservative, The Bellows, Cicero, Platypus Review, Sublation, UnHerd, and elsewhere. Follow Gregor on X @gregorbas1.

Helen Joyce

Helen Joyce became a staff journalist at The Economist in 2005. She held several senior positions on the paper, including Britain editor, Finance editor and International editor. She has a PhD in mathematics from University College London, two sons and an active Twitter account: @HJoyceGender. Before studying mathematics, she trained as a dancer. In April 2022 she took a leave of absence from The Economist to work for Sex Matters as Director of Advocacy.

She is the author of Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality, which was named as one of the books of the year in 2021 by the Observer, Spectator and Times. It analyses the recent trend towards sidelining biological sex in favour of self-declared “gender identity”. The Sunday Times praised it as a “searing and at times devastating analysis”, and the New York Times as an “intelligent, thorough rejoinder to an idea that has swept across much of the liberal world seemingly overnight”.

Izabella Kaminska

Izabella Kaminska is the founder and editor of The Blind Spot, a new media venture that aims to shine a light on stories being missed by the wider journalistic pack. The site focuses on finance, market and media news in both short and long-form. It hopes to deliver a healthy mix of analysis and opinion-led commentary, supported by aggregation, news reporting and deep-dives.

In February, 2023, she also became Politico Europe’s senior finance editor, overseeing the growth of Politico’s financial coverage on a part-time basis, in a deal that secured a special licensing agreement for the distribution of Politico content on the The Blind Spot. She continues to author her weekly newsletter at The Blind Spot.

Izabella is an alumni of the Financial Times, where she spent 13 years in reporting roles, most recently as the editor of FT Alphaville, the Financial Times’ award-winning markets and finance blog. Izabella was also an FT columnist and opinion writer focused on tech, finance and markets. She has also written as freelancer for Bloomberg, Boat International and Public News.

Izabella started her journalistic career in 2001 as a junior reporter for the english-language newspaper the Warsaw Business Journal. She later spent time in the former Soviet Union at the Caspian Business News, which took her to Azerbaijan and Georgia. In 2003 she reported as a freelancer from Kabul, Afghanistan, before joining BP as an Associate Editor of the company’s internal magazine Horizon in 2004.

After completing the 2005 Reuters graduate trainee programme, Izabella joined Platts to focus on the reporting of European natural gas markets. She then went on to become a senior producer at CNBC in London, producing the channel’s flag-ship programme Squawk Box. 

With the The Blind Spot Izabella is initiating a two-part plan to try to reconfigure how journalistic information is organised on the internet. 

She can be reached on: izabella@the-blindspot.com or

on Twitter

Jake Hurfurt

Jake Hurfurt is Head of Research & Investigations at Big Brother Watch, a UK civil liberties campaign group. He has published several large-scale investigations including on the abuse of "counter disinformation" to shape free speech, the use of surveillance tactics by advertising tech companies and the risks of AI & algorithms in the welfare system. Before joining Big Brother Watch he was a news reporter for the Daily Mail & Mail on Sunday.

Jared Klickstein

Jared Klickstein is an independent journalist and the author of the homeless/addiction memoir Crooked Smile. He lives in Oakland, CA.

John Morrison

John Morrison is a researcher who previously worked for The Spectator, producing briefings for journalists such as Fraser Nelson, Andrew Neil, Katy Balls, and Kate Andrews. While at the Spectator, John also researched and wrote the magazine’s Covid-19 newsletter. Before joining Public, John was a researcher and scriptwriter for various YouTube channels, including Disrupt TV and Epic History TV. John lives in London, UK.

Lea Booth

Lea Booth is an energy analyst and writer based in Washington, D.C. In addition to Public, he has been published in Quillette and City Journal. Previously, he served as the Senior Writer at the think tank Environmental Progress, where he researched energy, environment, homelessness, drug addiction, mental illness, and other topics. Lea was educated at The College of William & Mary where he graduated with a degree in Government.

Leighton Woodhouse

Leighton Woodhouse is a journalist and an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. He has written for numerous publications, including The Intercept, The New Republic, The Nation, Vice News, The Free Press, UnHerd, Real Clear Investigations, Tablet, and The Spectator.

He has produced dozens of short documentary videos for The Intercept, The Washington Post, PBS Frontline and other outlets, and directed two feature documentary films, one of which was nominated for an Emmy Award.

Before turning to journalism, Leighton was a union organizer in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. He has a Masters Degree in Sociology from UC Berkeley. He currently lives in Oakland.

Mia Hughes

Mia researches and writes on gendermedia bias, and other issues for Environmental Progress (EP) and Public. Mia Ashton is an Ottawa-based journalist primarily covering the gender issue for EP, with a particular focus on the controversy of pediatric medical transition and how trans rights collide with the rights of women and the LGB community. She previously covered the gender issue for The Post Millennial and has been published in The Critic, Lesbian and Gay News, and Gender Dissent. Mia is a British mother of three living in Ottawa, Canada, and before becoming a journalist was a teacher.

Pete Anderson

Pete Anderson is an Emeritus Nutrition Lecturer who farms cattle, horses, hay, and vegetables and writes about totalitarianism and the agrarian imperative at UnCowed.substack.com.

Petr Šourek

Petr Šourek is a journalist who tries to makes sense of news, a philosopher who staged Plato's Apology of Socrates (2023), a classicist who translated Petronius' Satyricon (2023), a director who made a film on math modeling A Matter of Life and Math (2022), a playwright who wrote Der mechanische Türke for Swiss Radion (2021), a citizen who translated the Great Barrington Declaration in Czech (2020), a new media artist who created Lithopy, a multi-screen installation for Milan Triennial (2019), an entrepreneur who founded World’s first corruption travel agency Corrupt Tour (2012) and he has been making money from corruption ever since, legally.

Phoebe Smith

Phoebe Smith is a researcher and fact-checker working on censorship, “disinformation,” and other topics. She received her Masters Degree in Media Studies from Syracuse University in 2023. As a student, she worked on a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) grant, extensively researching the capabilities and limitations of both AI generators and classifiers. 

Stephen Eide

Stephen Eide is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor of City Journal. His first book, Homelessness in America: The History and Tragedy of an Intractable Social Problem, was published in June 2022. He was previously a senior research associate at the Worcester Regional Research Bureau. Eide holds a B.A. from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in political philosophy from Boston College.

Zion Lights

Zion Lights is a Science Communicator who is known for her environmental advocacy work. Zion has become a globally-renowned speaker on clean energy, effective science communication and evidence-based climate action that isn’t at odds with human progress.

Zion is considered to be a thought leader in her field and is regularly invited to give lectures to different audiences including government organisations, students, technical experts, and private companies. Zion has delivered lectures at the Royal Society in London, Cambridge University, Oxford University, UCL, for the UN body the IAEA, the EU, and many other organisations. 

Zion is the former Editor of The Hourglass, Extinction Rebellion's print newspaper, which she founded, designed and managed during her time at the organisation. Hourglass achieved a print run of 180,000 distributed copies a month, and was the first climate reporting newspaper in the UK. Zion was also a spokesperson for the group for two years, where she highlighted the need for action on climate change on television including BBC Politics Live, Good Morning Britain, Byline TV, Sky News, The Andrew Neil Show, France 24, Debatten in Denmark, and Arirang News in South Korea.

Zion is the author of the evidence-based book The Ultimate Guide to Green Parenting, the nature poetry book Only a Moment, and has recently contributed to humanitarian Rob Greenfield's Zero Waste Kids and the French book Lumières sur le Nucléaire, among other titles.

In 2023 Zion was one of 17 people chosen by the British Science Association to give a Presidential Address at the British Science Festival in September, awarded the area of Education: https://britishsciencefestival.org/scientific-section-presidents-2023/

Zion is also a Patron of Humanists UK, and she was awarded the Holyoake Lecture Medal for her talk on the energy transition and the need to allow the Global South to develop in 2023: https://humanists.uk/2023/11/08/environmentalist-zion-lights-receives-the-2023-holyoake-medal

Zion has created her own narrative and as one of the few brown women in the Western environmental movement she is the first to champion diverse voices and causes from the Global South, as this is where her parents are from and much of her family still resides. Zion's parents escaped rural poverty as rice farmers in India so their children would have a high quality of life. Zion’s message is that billions of people still living in poverty need this too, but have largely been ignored and left behind by traditional Western environmentalism.

For pro-human, pro-progress commentary on science, technology and culture, read Zion’s writing for free: https://zionlights.substack.com

Zion is active on Twitter @ziontree

Instagram: zion.lights


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Best-selling author, "Apocalypse Never" & "San Fransicko" : Dao Winner : Time, "Hero of Environment" : C.B.R Chair in Politics, Censorship, & Free Speech, UATX
Alex Gutentag is a journalist based in California.