Phil Bronstein is the Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle.
In no small part thanks to Eve Batey (our "Editrix Emeritus" and the Chron's current blogging and interactive editor), Mr. Bronstein agreed to answer a few questions for us. His responses directly address issues brought up by SFist and SFist's readers a short time ago. Notably, you'll see from his answers below that he'd appreciate more of the same. Here's a chance to hear and be heard from one of the most important drivers behind news coverage in our area--and, for that matter, the country. See what he had to say to us below -- and let him know what you think.
1) We recently had a thread on SFist where we asked our readers "Why Aren't You Paying For The Chron?," and engaged in a little speculation on the topic ourselves. While they had some really interesting responses, we wonder how much weight, if any, responses like that are given by an institution like The San Francisco Chronicle.
About 30 or 40 pounds. A little less for Theo's view that our dreams are "hopeless and idiotic" -- though we hear you and still have hope for you -- than for Rita, who says SFist would be nowhere without the Chronicle. I'm thrilled Rita is volunteering as an Op-Ed columnist; we always need good writers who are also lawyers. I think we do take on "City Hall, transit, etc." and I pretty much get T's location/location point on local (and agree).
We’re having a tough time these days, as are many big dailies; a lot of good people’s lives are being affected. But the Chronicle will continue to be packed with talented journalists who will keep providing what Rita called “an essential public service.”
1b) Are SFist readers among your target audience, let alone those who choose to leave comments? A vocal minority? Something else?
If they weren't our target audience before, now that we know that SFist contributors and readers actually are interested in the paper, they are targets now. I read that post and those comments just minutes after they were posted. Honest. Ask Eve. And since the future of media and communications and technology is all speculation -- from uninformed to informed – some outside opinion is always worth reading. As a journalist, if you don’t, you might be suffering from that “higher calling disease," a professional hazard that I’d illustrate with what might be an apocryphal story: the reporter who can't take a call or answer an email from a reader because they're too busy "doing journalism."
So, tell me more about what you think we should be doing to better serve San Francisco. Because we’ll be changing over the next few months and feedback from people outside the building will be essential to making that change work.After the jump: Has the Web changed readership habits? Where do blogs fit in?