The current iteration of the San Francisco Examiner — the free, tabloid-sized print daily focused primarily on San Francisco news and events — is top notch. It’s a quick read, conveniently sized and simple but effective in delivering a local news update.
Sure, the Examiner won’t win any awards for ground breaking investigative journalism, but it delivers a simple product effectively.
The success of the Examiner print makes it even more of a shame that their online version sucks so much. The online headline often differs completely from the print version — which I view as a major fault. The print version provides consistently intriguing headlines, like “Mayor steals money from Muni,” that draw your attention to pick up the paper. Why don’t they match? The only reason I’ve ever thought to go to Examiner’s online page is to read the full story when I walked by a paper on the ground with an enticing headline. Duh?
The “top stories” on Examiner’s web page link to other sources. This doesn’t make any sense to me. As of writing this post, the second top story is a link to an SF Gate story about setting a new record for handshaking. Yes, a new record for handshaking. This isn’t a “top story” in real life, nor is it a “top story” in the print Examiner daily, nor did an Examiner writer write this story, nor does clicking this link earn revenue for the Examiner. So, why include it?
The Examiner online team is asleep at the wheel. (Perhaps there is no Examiner online team.) Too bad considering the print daily is spot on.