When the “newspaper” cancels the “news”

Tim Porter
2 min readMay 1, 2022

A few weeks ago, the San Francisco Chronicle informed its paying readers — of which I am one to the tune of $1,011 a year — that it’s printed Sports section couldn’t report results of some games because of new, earlier deadlines.

The editors promised us the latest news online.

OK, I get it. Print is dying. Only we geezers read it. I’m flexible. After all, I was building websites in the mid-1990s so I am a digital pioneer.

Today, though, I expected to find a story about yesterday’s Giants game since the game ended at 5 p.m., three hours before the Chron’s stated deadline. Nope. Nothing, not even a reefer to an online report. It’s like it never happened.

So, still seated the breakfast table, I decided to check the team’s standing before opening the Chron app. Guess what? Nada, zip, zero, nothing. Not a single line of agate about standings, records, etc., of any Sports. Numbers are the DNA of sports reporting — and fandom — so what’s the point of a Sports section with no stats, no news, no facts, just opinions? Not much.

Peeved, I open up the Chron app on the phone. There’s the game story of the Giants, but still no standings. Nothing. No won-loss record, no RBI leaders, no ERA stats. Nothing. Just more bloviating blather. Talk is cheap, apparently, numbers aren’t.

I scroll down the app and arrived at the section labeled “San Francisco Giants,” hoping to find a few numbers there and what do I see: A headline on the top story that says: “California’s giant sequoias are being destroyed by our wildfires.”

I guess we know who’s editing the “paper’s” much-touted digital report: Nobody.

I want to support local journalism — in fact, all types of journalism. My wife and I pay for the Times, the Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Chronicle. Both of use worked for digital start-ups, both of us were journalists. We recognize the need to change and are willing to pay for it.

What I am not going to do is swallow the two-faced balderdash that promises me more online and then gives me less.

Tim Porter

I'm a photographer and a writer.