NYT columnist Maureen Dowd (pictured) visited San Francisco and asked Chron editor-at-large Phil Bronstein to give her a “justify your existence tour.” She writes:

    We drove around the city for hours, looking at places where journalism had had an impact. At police headquarters, he told of The Chronicle’s coverage of police brutality that forced the department to create a database tracking misbehaving officers. He talked about the paper’s AIDS coverage as we drove through the Castro and past San Francisco General Hospital, where the AIDS wards once overflowed. Parked outside the Giants’ ballpark, he praised the paper’s reporting on Barry Bonds and the steroids scandal, noting that “there are far fewer fly balls going out in the bay.”

    His tour ended with cold comfort, as he observed that longer life expectancies may keep us on life support. “For people who still love print, who like to hold it, feel it, rustle it, tear stuff out, do their I. F. Stone thing, it’s important to remember that people are living longer,” he said. “That’s the most hopeful thing you can say about print journalism, that old people are living longer.”

(Photo credit: NYT, Fred R. Conrad)

Bay Area Media News


  1. He talked about police brutality, AIDs, etc. Did he mention the Chronicle’s coverage of the SFFD’s “swastila incident” that never happened, or its obliteration of the Zebra Killings from city history? I’m sure many of those older readers he talked about do.

  2. Bronstein was an example of the peter principle when he was named editor, and it’s worse now that he’s editor at large. He was an above average but not great reporter, and as editor he has shown no leadership abilities.

    If he has no hope for the future of his business, he should quit and do something else for a living. He has no vision for the future, that’s for sure. He sounds like a future suicide victim. No organization could ever succeed with a leader who has his attitude.

  3. So this is how Phil Bronstein’s life turned out–giving guided tours of SF. The Grayline to the gray lady.

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