Friday, March 13, 2009

Q&A with the editor of SF's newest news site

San Francisco has a new online newspaper, SF Appeal, which offers original journalism as well as links to the best stories on other local sites. Former Chronicle deputy ME for online, Eve Batey (pictured), is the editor and publisher of the Appeal. Press Club webmaster Dave Price put the following questions to Batey:
    Q: Who is funding SF Appeal? 
    Batey: It's self funded. We're running lean! Real lean. 
    Q: What is the significance (if any) about the name San Francisco Appeal? 
    Batey: Chuck Finnie, my partner at the time (Chuck has since taken a consulting position with a local firm and had to step down as partner. But he's contributing great content to the site!) thought of the name. We wanted the name to be one that reminded folks of the old school days of newspapers, when everyone wrote like Gawker and seemed like they were having fun. And the pun aspect sure doesn't hurt. 
    Q: What about your plans for advertising (assuming that's what you plan to do). Are you putting reps on the street? 
    Batey: Dave, are you offering? We're part of a great ad network, with Six Apart Media. No one's going to be buying Learjets on ad network money (though I'm happy to be proven wrong about that), but it's a great start. We'd love to work with local businesses and advertisers, of course, but right now we're way more focused on producing great content that'll bring folks to the site. 
    Q: Describe your plans for original reporting. 
    Batey: I know this sounds cheesy, but the plan with the Appeal is to "marry the best practices of blogging and journalism." That means a lot of links, building off others' reporting, and doing as much of your own as you can to move the story forward. 
    Q: You've got a lot of competition on the Web — what makes your site stand out? 
    Batey: Hold up there, Dave. Competition is a great thing — you always run faster when you're running with other folks, right? And, in a web model, the more folks out there creating content that can be linked to and from, the better it is for everyone. 
    Q: How will you promote SF Appeal? 
    Batey: Wait, this interview won't do the trick?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I see commentary and opinion, but I don't see much reporting yet on SF Advance. I know they just started, but I hope this is something more than just another snarky city blog.

Anonymous said...

Help me out. I must be missing something. I took a look at the site and saw little of importance. There was a review of the movie about the Harvard-Yale game, but I had already read Sam Whiting's fine Chron piece on that. I thought I might find some new thoughts on the movie - something along the lines of how South Boston, and the rest of the nation, has to live with decisions made by Harvard grads.
Otherwise, the Appeal struck me as just another anti-Prop 8 cheerleader.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what you're looking at, but I see a lot of news on SF Appeal -- stories reported by the Appeal's staff. It's clearly a "work in progress," but it's on the right track.

Anonymous said...

The great things about the internet is that the barrier to entry is low and a site like this can succeed based on reader demand. It's not like a newspaper, where you have to have a press and a lot of overhead, or a TV station with even more upfront costs and the difficulty of obtaining a license. Whether the Appeal succeeds or not is entirely up to Batey, and that's as it should be.