Ouch: Double Vision hits the SF Chronicle twice in one week: The San Francisco Chronicle had the same cover photo of an Iraqi sand storm as the New York Times on Tuesday, and shared a Cindy Sheehan story photo with the Oakland Tribune on Wednesday. If papers rely more and more on stringer photographers and wire services such as Associated Press, are there some procedures they could employ to prevent this embarrassment in the future? It seems like the press version of showing up to a cocktail party - only to discover two other guests wearing your dress :(
The San Francisco Examiner is just humming along. Today it expanded beyond a five-day-a-week paper with its Saturday-Sunday edition. Roger from A Clean Well Lighted Place for Books says there may be a weekly local Independent Bookseller's Recommendations feature. The Exam is so different from the Chronicle: it takes a hyperlocal focus on San Francisco, the city, instead of trying to cover the entire bay area; it's a service-oriented paper with "what to do in SF today" sections prominently printed inside the front flap instead of buried inside the Datebook in tiny font. As a reader, I think both papers look better when there are such contrasting alternatives to choose from. (For more on local coverage upping reader trust, see Jack Shafer's Slate piece Why I Don't Trust Readers.)
The Contra Costa Times' editor Chris Lopez keeps a blog. I highly recommend it - Lopez provides a glimpse into every day decisions at the East Bay paper, from the mundane (like a new puzzle they're adding to the Time Out section) to the tough judgement calls behind printing graphic Iraq carnage photos. Lopez constantly asks blog readers for feedback. Kudos to Lopez and the CCTimes for being a good example to the industry; that's a paper which really appears to respect blogs. Lopez gets out in front using new media to nurture reader trust by aggressively soliciting and sharing constructive criticism.
(This is quite a contrast to journalist groups lambasting papers asking for citizen input, as pointed out by Dan Gillmor, here.)
Finally, I have to give an overdue call to attention to the ultimate in alternative: altweekly East Bay Express discovers and reviews the really really alternative print media: Oakland has a sex gossip newspaper called "Booty Crack". The story's headline: "All the Nymphos Fit to Info: BootyCrack brings readers the 'official street gospel.' But some think it's showing too much ass." Snaps to EBX. What. A. Find.