Editorial: How an SF online newspaper can succeed

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No number of part-time bloggers and citizen journalists will ever be able to perform the watchdog role of a fully-staffed newspaper.

But the new web-based publication "can't just be about getting the old band together for another tour."

EDITORIAL Dave Iverson, host of KQED's Friday Forum show, introduced the Sept. 25 program with a pretty obvious comment: "Conversations about the future of journalism, and newspapers in particular, are rarely optimistic affairs." He went on to describe the new effort by Warren Hellman, KQED, and the UC Berkeley journalism school to create a new media outlet in San Francisco (a story that broke first in the Guardian's politics blog).

The guests, including Neil Henry, dean of the j-school; Carl Hall, the former San Francisco Chronicle reporter; and Jeff Clarke, president of KQED; talked in vague platitudes about the big new plans — and then spent much of the time defending and lauding the Chronicle, which one guest called "a great paper."