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Monday, January 13, 2014

San Francisco Chronicle Totally Gives Up on Journalism

Posted By on Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 9:12 AM

click to enlarge New Chron prez Kristine Shine promises to turn your brain into total mush
  • New Chron prez Kristine Shine promises to turn your brain into total mush

Executives at Hearst Corporation have confirmed that, by appointing the former Chief Revenue Officer of to be President of the San Francisco Chronicle, they are saying "screw it" to journalism.

"I thought we made that pretty clear," said Hearst Newspapers President Mark Aldam. "Journalism is dying and we at Hearst would like to be ahead of a trend for once."

Hearst sources who wished to remain anonymous pointed out that "POPSGAR is in all caps, for Christ sake, and just ran an article in which the only text was a verbal description of the outfit Kristen Stewart was wearing in the photos. If we were journalists we'd want to die."

Hearst CEO Steven Swartz said he would be happy for more journalists to die.

"All that really matters is that (former POPSUGAR Chief Revenue Officer) Kristine Shine consistently made money on a website," he said. "Can you do that? Can journalism?"

Added Swartz, "We've spent 20 years now pretending that people want to read zoning board coverage, or anything written by Matier & Ross. We gave journalism more than a fair shot. It's time to grow up."

But Shine herself said that she hopes both remaining journalists on her staff won't worry about the new direction she plans to take the paper.

"Our business models are very similar," Shine said. "'Journalism,' after all, is only 'content,' which uses words, and POPSUGAR also used words. So there will still be words."

Added Shine: "Johnny Depp, Golden Globes, A-list, Bikini Body, Ke$ha, Strawberry Cupcakes."

A local journalism professor agreed, saying "POPSUGAR is famous for what could pass for content, if it's only skimmed in a dark room while hungry."

Asked if the profession he studies has any future, the professor said: "Leave me alone."

New editorial policies that have already been announced for the Chronicle's newsroom include:

  • Only quote members of the Board of Supervisors when they're talking about Oscar picks

  • The homeless should only be written about if they're offering street-smart fashion tips

  • Oakland does not exist

  • "What's Jane Kim wearing?" will be developed into a full-time beat.

  • Try to work the words "celebrity," "adultery," and "weight loss" into every story

Said Shine, "Gwyneth Paltrow, weddings, selfies, Lena Dunham, royal baby, Zac Efron, Snapchat!"

Benjamin Wachs is a literary chameleon

Editors Note: A previous version of this story quoted San Francisco State Professor Roland De Wolk. The author did not ever speak to De Wolk. The story is intended to be satire and all quotes are fabricated.

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Benjamin Wachs


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