Why people get mad at the media, part 7, a letter to the editor of Business Week/McGraw Hill


Note to the reader:

This is a copy of a letter I emailed today to the unidentified "editor filter" at bw@businessweek.com, as instructed yesterday by Assistant Managing Editor Mary Kunz at Business Week/McGraw Hill headquarters in New York City. I copied her and Editor-in-Chief Stephen J.Adler and Executive Editors John A. Byrne and Kathy Rebello. I asked for an acknowledgment that they had received my letter and that, if there was any editing, that they show it to me in advance to help prevent further "correction" messes. I also asked that the letter run in both the print and online BW magazines. Let us see what happens.

Coming soon: due to popular demand, I will soon be supplying details on the Potrero Hill martini, how to make it and where to get it.

Letter to the editor of Business Week/McGraw Hill:

In your front page story on Digg.com, you made two major errors in the first three lines of the first paragraph of your lead article. (“How This Kid Made $60 Million in l8 months.”) First, you wrote that Digg.Com was situated “above the grungy offices of the SF Weekly in Potrero Hill.” This is incorrect: Digg.com is situated above the offices of the San Francisco Bay Guardian in the Guardian building, which we own. SF Weekly, our major competitor, has offices on the other side of Mission Bay. Second: our offices are not “grungy.”

You rightly corrected the first mistake in your online edition (not in your print edition). But you have refused, again and again, to honor my simple request for a retraction and explanation in your print and online editions of how your reporters and editors got their facts so wrong. Your reporters and editors did not visit the Guardian offices nor can they specify just what is so”grungy” about the Guardian, our offices, and our building. In short, your correction has only made an “atrocious” mistake even more “atrocious,” the word used by your writer in her conversation with me. Why? What great journalistic principle is at stake in refusing to correct or remove the word “grungy” from your story?

So I posted on my Bruce blog at SFBG.com some candid snapshots of our building and our offices. I invite your staff and your readers to go to my blog and judge for yourself. And I invite you to leave your splendorous offices in mid-town Manhattan and come to San Francisco. I will give you a personal tour of our “grungy offices” and serve you a Potrero Hill martini in my office.

Bruce B. Brugmann, founder, editor, and publisher, San Francisco Bay Guardian, printing the news and raising hell and spreading sunshine inside and outside San Francisco since l966