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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Local Paper

One of the many characters that I've met at my favorite neighborhood cafe is this older gentleman who is a lawyer. When I met him I was doing the profile story about the Mama's Art Cafe. I didn't imagine when I was talking to him that I might get a job offer out of the conversation. In fact I didn't think that he would even remember me, but when I saw him in the cafe a few weeks after the profile he did in fact remember me. We started talking and I mentioned that something he said to me about the neighborhood being "old San Francisco" was going to be the focus of my final story. He then told me about the an idea that he had to start an online newspaper written by younger people in the neighborhood about the neighborhood, and he offered to let me write for it if they could in fact turn the idea into a concrete reality. I have to say I was floored by the fact that the man would offer a writing job to someone whose writing he never in fact read but it made me think of the idea little more. Community papers, if one can believe what they hear, are still relatively strong. Understandably, finances and resources may make production more difficult for local papers but those that stay afloat have an advantage. They are the only publications covering their neighborhoods and I think it's safe to say that people like to have something based in their own communities that speak to them specifically. The Excelsior doesn't get a much attention in San Francisco from what I've noticed outside of perhaps Jerry Day (Festival to celebrate Jerry Garcia's birthday. Jerry was raised in the Excelsior neighborhood). A neighborhood like the Excelsior which sometimes gets forgotten because it isn't a big tourist attraction could use a publication that is specifically for its residents. Whether or not the idea that my new friend has will take flight is still to be determined but the fact still remains that the neighborhood could use a little attention. 

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