Friday, March 26, 2010

Imagine there's no Chronicle

The Commonwealth Club asked a panel of New Media start-ups to imagine San Francisco without a daily newspaper, and none of them could. At least that was the take of the SF Weekly's Lois Beckett, who covered the discussion.
    The problem, as Gannett Vice President for Innovation and Design Michael Maness pointed out, is that while new media sites still rely on old media, readers themselves are less interested in the traditional news coverage or City Hall reporting that mainstream media organizations provide.

    Maness said Gannett recently conducted an anthropological study of the news habits of adults in 16 cities across the United States. What they heard over and over again, he said, was, "I'm tired of turning on the TV and hearing about two murders in a part of the city I couldn't find on the map."
After the panel, the Commonwealth's Inforum announced their "New Face of SF Media" award winner: Jaimal Yogis, a journalist and author of Saltwater Buddha, who has written for San Francisco Magazine and The Bold Italic.

In his acceptance speech, Yogis said he hoped The Bold Italic was the future of San Francisco media, since it had given him a chance to write about swimming to Alcatraz and other adventures, which was much more fun than "trawling through documents and things."

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

imagine if there were no chronicle ... where would the bloggers and broadcasters get their news? they'd have to hit the streets, work beats, develop sources ...

Brandon said...

After decades of "if it bleeds it leads" and the local news screaming about how you should be scared of something so horrible you need to wait to the 11 o'clock news to see it, perhaps they've finally worn us out.

Now, a headline about a murder is about all I care to read on the subject, there won't be anything actually useful to me in the article. The thing to be scared of I shouldn't actually be scared of and I read a much more useful/factual take on the subject hours earlier. And don't even get me started on the "what does joe random user think about this national or world event"

I actually wish the Chronicle spent more effort covering local news, but I sometimes feel they're down to maybe 3 reporters and one columnist, if that. Might try something like the Fwix model of aggregating local bloggers instead.