Chronicle Pair Offer Visiting Journalists a Ten-Step Article Template

New York magazine recently wondered – “Is San Francisco New York?” From that west coast city, San Francisco Chronicle pop culture critic Peter Hartlaub and staff writer Joe Garofoli today offer up the cheekiest of commentary-responses in the form of a ten-step Cut-and-Paste San Francisco Trend Story template.


Each and every suggested feature article touchstone is hilarious, including:

Step 3: Find the outrage. Now that you’re sufficiently fired up about evictions, it’s time to write about the tenant-landlord rift without actually speaking to a greedy landlord or aggrieved tenant. The San Francisco Tenants Union, Tenderloin Housing Clinic or any past/present editor of the San Francisco Bay Guardian will gladly confirm that San Francisco is on the verge of doom (just as the naysayers said in 1998 during the first dot-com boom).

Premium content points: Mention that the average rent price in the Mission District (as of January 30) is $2,125 per bedroom, three times the national average.

The Chronicle article is one of those well thought-out goofs that carries the premise through right on down to the footnote level. At the end of the piece, it is duly noted that the article authors “live in Oakland, like much of the rest of The Chronicle staff, and commute into the city. They insist Oakland is nothing like Brooklyn.”

Ha ha. Maybe they should let Spike Lee be the ultimate judge of that.

[Photo: Alita Bobrov/]