John's Reviews > McSweeney's #33

McSweeney's #33 by Dave Eggers
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Nov 10, 10

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Read in November, 2010

An interesrting epilogue to the American newspaper, a somewhat obvious reaction to the SF Chronicle’s precipitous decline. This “paper” possesses some great articles, but some so important as to be damaged by this throwaway format. A prime example is Jesse Nathan’s “The Tragedy of Mendocino,” which should be required reading for California voters deciding whether further decriminalization of marijuana is wise or not. Not because the article masks an opinion of some kind but because it examines issues that most California voters are blind to…But it is not available online, so I can’t link to it on Facebook, so who is going to read it? Sad but true. At least the decimated Chronicle publishes online so that what little investigative journalism they do undertake is available to the masses.

Now I come from a place where the community paper has managed to remain vibrant and invested in the community - Riverside - the heart of darkness. They managed this by being early adopters to the internet, understanding that their paper doesn't serve just the city, but the multitudinous suburbs beyond and doing low budget local stories that actually mean something. Sure they don't have foreign correspondants, but at least they know Temecula from Temescal Valley. In other words they approach their community as a network of places as opposed to a place. Personally I'm never going to read the Chronicle because it will never understand the North Bay - but I am hardly going to read the Napa Valley Register because it will only take the most cursory examination of the facts.
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