It is indeed a sad state of affairs with what has happened to this once fine newspaper, especially for me. As a child in a small, pointless Northern Californian town, I’d remember my father heading out on a clandestine, hidden doughnut run to come back with the Chronicle as his excuse for said run, although the powdered sugar in the car gave him away. I didn’t care as there before me was this stack of text and advertisements that were my link to a greater world in the early 1980’s and, despite not really knowing what was being talked about, I worshiped all that came through in those pages.
As I was perusing the Criticism section of The Chronicle‘s Wikipedia entry over the weekend, I found that I pretty much agreed with everything said there. Then, I saw the comments on this article which I found amusing, specifically the following by “rambosf”:
How to publish a newspaper – SFgate style
1) Fire competent reporters at SFgate.
2) Receive press release from Vogue.
3) Have intern copy press release
4) Have intern paste it on SFgate.com as a news story
5) Sell advertisements to companies
It’s amusing because it’s true and it’s sad because it doesn’t look like The Chron will be one of those people that makes the digital leap. I completely believe in digital news, but at the same time, I’m one of those few who still remembers how incredible it was to only have your news in printed form, even if it meant finding out about something two days after it happened–or three if you father wasn’t able to go for donuts for a day or two.