August 13, 2018 9:31 PM   Subscribe

My city is experiencing a bus service meltdown that appears to have been totally avoidable. I learned about it through a local daily free paper and a local blog, but the city's paper of record has not seen fit to cover the story. I'm pisssssssssed and would like to let the world know about it. Should I write to the paper asking them to cover it OR should I submit a letter to the editor?

Looking for pros and cons for the two options - what's more likely to achieve my goal of getting the dang paper to at least mention this failure?

Here's a blog post about the situation (including a gripe that the Chronicle isn't covering it). I am already writing to the mayor and my district supervisor.
posted by sunset in snow country to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Grandysaur at 9:38 PM on August 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

I, too, am extremely pissed about this very same situation and have been pondering the same thing.

I was thinking of writing Heather Knight and Peter Hartlaub (ok, mostly Knight, because Hartlaub usually covers culture), who did the ride-every-bus-line challenge earlier this year to suggest that the paper cover transit service as it pertains to those who actually rely on it, rather than recreational activity.

Honestly, I consider the Chronicle pretty much a lost cause at this point. I sincerely want to support local journalism and pay them money, but stuff like this happens over and over again, and I just can't.

You've also reminded me to write my supervisor, which I will do now, thank you.
posted by zachlipton at 9:47 PM on August 13, 2018 [6 favorites]

Oh, the Chronicle finally woke up and has a story: Twin Peaks Tunnel closure compounds Muni driver shortage

You can also email the SFMTA Board.
posted by zachlipton at 10:10 PM on August 13, 2018

I was about to post the link to the Chronicle story, but then got sucked into an argument about funding transportation on Twitter (where I saw the link).

And I'm not surprised the coverage on Muni from the Chronicle has been weak. They've been more focused on the opening of the Salesforce Transit Center. Joe Fitz Rodriguez for the Examiner I'd reliable and dogged in his coverage of the agency. Joe Eskenazi is usually on top of things too but his scope is a bit broader and often focuses on other issues with SF politics and government.

I would write the editor and make the point that yeah... the riding all the buses in my day was a fun feel good story but what about Muni the rest of the time. If the city (and the state) are serious about climate change, fixing transit and reducing the use of private, SOVs (including ride hailing services) is critical. Raise hell.
posted by kendrak at 10:26 PM on August 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'd add Streetsblog SF to the above list, which will keep you informed about transportation goings-on in the city, including daily news roundups.
posted by zachlipton at 10:41 PM on August 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

THANK YOU ALL! Glad to see the Chronicle has finally covered it. Since they have, and writing to say they should have covered it earlier would probably make me seem like a crank (even though it's true and they should be ashamed), I'll work on a letter to the editor instead. "Climate change" = the magic words I needed to snap myself out of "I HAVE BEEN INCONVEEEEEEEEENIENCED" mode and into a mindset where I can actually explain why this is fucking important. Thankyouthankouthankyou.
posted by sunset in snow country at 8:00 AM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

(And I will email the SFMTA board too, though it will be an interesting challenge to find anything to say beyond "YOU SHOULD ALL BE FIRED")
posted by sunset in snow country at 8:03 AM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

I know, Twitter – but it's worth considering, if you have an account. For the time it takes to bosh out a few tweets, it's worth it in case you do get some traction. Don't just shout into the void but tweet a complaint, mentioning the people you're complaining to – (the paper, in this case), as well as some people who may be interested (local politicians, authorities, press regulation). Mention people at the end of the tweet to help keep your tweet more visible in people's timelines.

This is an extension of the BOTH answer, really. Make as much noise in as many channels and in as many directions as you can.

And good on you – I appreciate what you're doing.
posted by nthdegx at 9:04 AM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

« Older Electric toothbrush head replacements, cost vs...   |   What are the definitive music videos of the last... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.