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Why Can't They Just Get Along?

March 16, 2010

sfweek.jpegguard.jpegAs I do not currently work for SF Weekly or the San Francisco Bay Guardian, two weekly, advertiser-supported newspapers here in the Bay Area, I feel it's time to weigh in with my feelings about the increasingly nasty relationship between the two news organizations. The competing papers have been at war for years, deriding each other in print on and weekly basis and dragging each other through court. I guess there's nothing unusual about this in the world of newspapers. But I've never had much patience with tit-for-tat in the media -- especially while the industry is struggling so much as a whole to stay afloat . 

Until near the end of last year, I served as the chief theater critic for SF Weekly, a position which I held for five years. Prior to that, I wrote theater reviews and features for the Bay Guardian for about three years. I enjoyed my work for both papers and like many of the people who work at both organizations. I consider them to play an equally important role in the cultural fabric of this part of the world.

So it makes me very sad to see them so angry at each other. In this difficult economic climate, these news organizations should be supporting each other, not attempting to tear each other down. If this continues, it won't be long before The Bay Area has no alternative papers at all. This predicament may come to pass eventually anyway. But does it need to happen as a result of the Weekly and Guardian committing combined suicide?

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