Thursday, September 10, 2009

More death rattles from Fifth and Mission

Everyone knows the San Francisco Chronicle isn't doing well. They keep cutting jobs. By some accounts, they're losing a million dollars a week. That's why the paper is thinner than it's ever been, the quality is all shot to hell, and they're charging more money for it.

(Side note #1 - I can't figure out the pricing structure to save my life. At the racks, it's 75 cents. [Sub-side-note - How do you make a "cents" symbol on a computer keyboard?] I buy it from the very nice lady at the 24th Street BART station. She charged me 75 cents for a while, then, without any explanation, went back to 50 cents. Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't be outing this. Whatever, paper's going to be gone soon anyway.)

This is the worst fuckup I've ever seen in the Chron, though:

From yesterdays' Datebook section. I don't know if you can read the caption under the picture (I took it with my cell phone), but the caption reads as follows:

"Photo caption Dummy text goes here. Dummy text goes here. Dummy text goes here. Dummy text goes here. Dummy text goes"

Sigh. I don't know what kind of layout software they use or if they scratch the Chronicle into metal plates every day by hand or whatever, but clearly somebody dropped the ball in a big fucking way.

(Side Note #2 - Did you know that dummy text is often called "loren ipsum," because that's the first two words of the industry-standard dummy text, which comes originally from Cicero? And that there's a dummy text generator online? Of course there is.)

Yeah, I know it's not the end of the world or anything, but it's just depressing. I love, or used to love, the Chron, for all its foibles and fuckups. It was part of the fabric of the city to me, back when you had to read Herb Caen every day to find out what was going on and there was a whole staff of writers. I remember reading a Jon Carroll column the very first day I lived in San Francisco (October 16, 1990, if you must know) and LOLing. "LOLing" didn't exist then. We had to spell it out. Prehistoric!

(Side note #3 - Back then, both the Chronicle and the Examiner (RIP) published every day. 2 daily papers! For a news junkie like me, it was heaven. The Ex had its own little eccentricities - like calling SF "the City," with the "C" capitalized, which I loved, because WE ARE THE CITY - but I was staunchly a Chron man.)

So it'll be sad to watch the Chron go gently into that good night. Thanks a lot, Craigslist! Just kidding. Sort of.


troymccluresf said...

It is sad how far our papers have fallen. :/

How do you make a "cents" symbol on a computer keyboard?

Shift-Option-4 on a Mac, IIRC.

idrumgood said...

¢ is alt+155 on the num pad for windows.

Rachel said...

I used to love being able to buy/read 2 papers a day when I first moved here... The Chron in the morning and The Examiner at lunch. The Chron-Examiner Sunday paper always threw me for a loop, though!

Unknown said...

This never would have happened at the Daily Planet.

Where is Perry White when you need him.