Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, founded in 1865, has won six Pulitzer prizes and continues to be an information hub for a thriving San Francisco, reaching 30 million users on the paper, electronic editions, digital apps, SFChronicle.com and SFGate. Inside the cluttered newsroom, we could see reporters and photographers, advertising experts and editors, hard at work in the expansive, cubicle environment. Sounds of typing and phones ringing could be heard as we made our way throughout the floor.
We were eventually led into the editorial boardroom, which is complete with a large oval table and ten black leather chairs; each seat reserved for a different beat of the Chronicle. All sections, from fashion, lifestyle, sports and business to breaking news and features, have editors who work with writers and help shape content. These editors all report to the Editor in Chief.
Every morning, the news team gathers for an editorial meeting to talk about the stories they covered and printed the day previous, pinpointing what worked and what didn’t work. They proceed to talk about the news for the day, and what story should make it to the cover. They meet again later in the day to make the final decisions.
The room held an air of collaboration and responsibility. Decorating the walls was the most recent issue of the Chronicle. However, their discussion was not only about the print paper. Social media and the online site SFGate.com were important topics as well, and the meeting kicked off with a discussion of numbers and statistics and an update of reader engagement and how their features and content were doing online.