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Monday, March 30, 2009

Snuggies over a Missing Child? What Great Prioritization SF Chronicle

Today, I won't be going after Muni, or Gavin Newsom's wild west government. This morning, I'm going to tell you about how the San Francisco Chronicle's editors are starting to lose their own priorities.

A briefing on SFGate
SFGate is the San Francisco Chronicle's online newspaper, which brings in thousands of visitors a day to their website for the latest news. One of the "Gate's" popular features is the comment section that comes with every article posted online for people to write about their opinions and ask questions to the general public about the issue at hand.

SFGate always features their main storyline on the top left section of their website, usually the main headline would feature a photograph with a link below the photo for the story. They typically include it as one of the top three headlines to the left of the photograph too.

The "Snuggie" story...
On Sunday, March 29, 2009, SFGate featured a story about the "Snuggie," in which a reviewer on Good Morning America a while back calls literally an airplane blanket with sleeves. In San Francisco, the the Gate/Chronicle staff writer tagged along with a bunch of pub crawlers wearing the blue snuggies.

But then... a comment popped out as the top (now second) most popular comment for the story.

User "louanne" states at 7AM in the morning on Sunday:
  • "So the girl kidnapped in Tracy gets no news coverage, but this overpriced hospital gown does? Did the Chronicle lay off all of the San Francisco crime beat reporters? I would think that after laying off your fashion editor that stories like this would never show up again. I was so wrong."
MAJOR UPDATE (3/30/09 3:58PM)
The Chronicle CENSORED (removed) the comment posting from user "louanne" in regards to the "snuggie" story. I guess the Gate doesn't like some criticism in their breakfast today.


24 hours later... the missing girl story
The SFGate reacts 24 hours after publishing the "snuggie" story and very Sunday night (8PM), publishes their article about the eight year old girl from Tracy that goes missing. We soon learn the truth about how badly the San Francisco Chronicle screwed-up on their priorities.

The story reports that the child went missing on Friday evening, and the Chronicle publishes the article over 48 hours since the child went reported missing. The Chronicle had a lot of time to publish an article online, including posting it on SATURDAY, but decides to post the SNUGGIE pub crawl story on Sunday as their HEADLINE STORY!?!?!?!

The top comment from the missing girl story from user "naiad" states:
  • "Missing since Friday and is "breaking news" on Sunday night?! Guess the "Snuggie Pub Crawl" was a bigger headline. Way to prioritize, Chron."
This brief comment alone had 315 "thumbs up" and the second most popular comment only has 190 "thumbs up." That shows you how upset the Chronicle/SFgate readers are.


Akit's Opinion
The Chronicle really screwed-up big time. I'm no major news reporter or editor, but even I know that a kidnapping or missing child story takes major priority over some "snuggie" pub crawl or some fashion headline story.

If the Chronicle can't get their publishing priorities straight, it's time to start terminating the incompetent people and look for smart ones who can truly manage a newspaper and their online version.

The Chronicle should apologize to the missing child's family and the paper should pay for a full-page advertisement for the missing child. Not a half-page, or a little square. But a full-page in the main section of the Chronicle showing photos of the kid with a clear description. If need be, ask the FBI for the information to publish in TUESDAY'S NEWSPAPER.

If you know where this child is, or have any information, please contact:
Tracy Police Department: (209) 831-6847
For urgent tips to the Tracy Police Department: (209) 831-4550.
Tips are also welcomed at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: (800) 843-5678.

The Chronicle states about how to identify her:
"Sandra is Latina, 4 feet tall and weighs 45 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a pink Hello Kitty T-shirt and black leggings."

1 comment:

henri said...

I noticed that too! Readers are partially to blame as well. I agree though that the Chronicle needs to get it's priorities straight. Rant about it on ih8that.com, http://www.ih8that.com/