San Francisco Chronicle

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Publication analysis

About the publication

Title: San Francisco Chronicle



Purpose, objective, or mission: The objective of the San Francisco Chronicle is to provide local and regional news to the Bay Area and surrounding Northern California. The newspaper also seeks to circulate cultural and entertainment articles as well as some national and international articles.1

Target audience: Readers throughout the Bay Area.2

Publisher: Hearst Communications, Inc.3

Peer reviewed? No.

Type: Civilian newspaper.

Medium: Print and online.4

Content: Local, state and national news, sports, politics, business, travel, entertainment and food. Online version also includes blogs.5

Frequency of publication: Daily in print; updated more frequently online.

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Types of contributions accepted: The Chronicle accepts Letters to the Editor, Op-Ed pieces for Open Forum, and commentary pieces for Insight.6

Submission and review process: Submission is via online form on website, and review process depends on the type of submission. Limit on length of articles is: commentary pieces for the Sunday Insight section (700 words), Letters to the editor (200 words), and op-ed Open Forum pieces (500).7 No information is provided as to acceptance rates or method of acceptance.

Editorial tone: Freewheeling. The newspaper, and especially the online edition, takes a tone of local interest that may mirror its audience. The Bay Area community is thought to be more liberal than other parts of the country.

Style guide used: None specified for the type of contributions accepted.

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

This publication’s participation in Chronicle in Education,8 which provides teacher lessons and information, suggests an active community involvement and would make the Chronicle a possible publication for an LIS-related article.

Chronicle readers pride themselves on being intelligent and well educated and keeping abreast of current events, especially at the local level. Publication in this newspaper offers a unique opportunity for those in the library field to inform and instruct a huge lay audience about issues facing libraries today. The Sunday edition’s Insight section “aims to provide a forum to shake up conventional wisdom and provoke fresh thinking.”9 This might be an excellent arena for librarians to bring library-related issues to the forefront of the public’s awareness.


Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: Daily circulation of 167,602; Sunday circulation of 252,088.10

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: San Francisco, California, United States; online features are available worldwide. English.

Reader characteristics: Just under half of readers are college graduates, with a median household income of $82,223. The median age of readers is 53, and 74% do not have children.11 It is likely that the interests of the Chronicle’s readers are local issues, and those affecting middle-class families. Considering the industries of San Francisco and the Bay Area, readers are likely to work in technology and computer jobs, the arts, and tourism. San Francisco is famous for being politically, socially, and economically progressive. Overall, its constituents are antiwar, pro-equal rights (including gay marriage), and San Francisco was one of the first cities in the country to give library cards to homeless persons.

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: The newspaper does not regularly focus on LIS subject matter, but local library issues and concerns might be raised in an editorial piece.

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

The audience of the San Francisco Chronicle are educators, parents, cab drivers, in the mayor’s office; they are you and me. With this in mind, authors should avoid library jargon (e.g., MARC, CONSER, AACR2) and specialized library science themes. Topics dealing with promoting library services, such as lobbying for the public’s free and open access to information, new reading programs, and issues with banned books, would be appropriate as this newspapers is targeting the general public.

Last updated: November 4, 2016


Show 11 footnotes

  1. “San Francisco Chronicle,”, accessed November 4, 2016,
  2. San Francisco Chronicle.”
  3. San Francisco Chronicle.”
  4. San Francisco Chronicle.”
  5. San Francisco Chronicle.”
  6. “Submissions & Contributions,”, accessed November 4, 2016,
  7. Submissions & Contributions.”
  8. “San Francisco Chronicle,”, accessed November 4, 2016,
  9. Submissions & Contributions.”
  10. “Media Kit 2016,”, accessed November 4, 2016,
  11. Media Kit 2016.”
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