This week, we learned that the 130-year-old San Diego Daily Transcript will close its doors in September. It’s not a household name, but the Daily Transcript is well known among the city’s journalism and political class.
The Transcript’s impact on news and its focus varied greatly depending on who made up the young editorial staff working there at any given time. It was the first, or an early stop, for an impressive list of people in San Diego and beyond who now work in major new, political or public relations posts.
Lobbyist Rachel Laing, a former editor there, gathered a list of people who’s careers the Transcript kickstarted. In that list, for example, is Gene Cubbison, the political reporter at NBC 7 San Diego, Matthew T. Hall, the engagement editor at the Union-Tribune, Joe Guerin, news editor at KPBS and Claire Trageser, a writer at KPBS.
And of course, our own Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts along with former editor Andrew Donohue are also Transcript alums.
We’ll be monitoring what’s lost with the Transcript’s departure from the scene. But one thing interesting to note is that the paper is officially San Diego’s paper of record. That means it hosts the paid public notices and official advertisements that cities and others have to issue. People doing official things will have to settle into a new system.
What VOSD Learned This Week
If there was a theme to this week, it might be a failure to meet expectations. As journalists, we’re constantly weighing what elected officials and others promise against the results they deliver. We saw some gulfs between those two points this week.
The expectation: The Bus Rapid Transit project, or BRT, along El Cajon Boulevard would provide that community with faster, more dependable service than the regular bus it replaced.
The reality: The Rapid 215 bus is only on time about 84 percent of the time, though “reliability is a major selling point of BRT lines in the first place.” Without dedicated lanes and traffic-signal priority, it’s not as fast as it could be, either.
The expectation: Poway Unified will continue to be tops not just in student achievement, but in terms of harmony among staff. Oh, and Superintendent John Collins will keep earning that $300K+ salary.
The reality: A harsh report we obtained after threatening the district with legal action reveals lots of hurt feelings and dysfunction behind the scenes at the district. Some board members are angry the superintendent didn’t release the report sooner or ask for help with the problems it identifies.
One thing worth noting, though: While the report certainly is embarrassing for the district, the fact that it commissioned one at all, and is pledging to implement solutions, is precisely the kind of behavior everyone should hope for from a school district.
The expectation: Qualcomm will keep providing the San Diego region with tons of jobs.
The reality: They’re cutting thousands of positions across the company, and three big threats are to blame for Qualcomm’s current troubles.
What Else VOSD Learned
• The feds were investigating Bob Filner for almost his entire tenure as mayor, according to an attorney.
What I’m Reading
Important Stories Told 140 Characters at a Time
• A former Google employee tweeted what happened when she created a spreadsheet in which coworkers shared their salaries in an effort to bring them into parity. (Spoiler: It didn’t go well.) (Wired)
• This story of how Joshua Clover quit his job at Spin magazine, told through 200-plus tweets, is epic.
What Our Policies Have Wrought
• San Francisco’s crushing housing crisis can be traced to an unlikely source: its famed progressive politics. (CityLab)
• The new American slavery. (Buzzfeed)
Stories That Apply to Me So Directly It’s Almost Painful
• I’m typing these words with frozen fingers and a space heater roaring at my feet. The Washington Post understands why.
Line of the Week
“Some male players, however — the ones who were less-skilled at the game, and performing worse relative their peers — made frequent, nasty comments to the female gamers. In other words, sexist dudes are literally losers.” – From a Washington Post story on a study about men who harass women online.