San Diego Reader


Publication analysis

About the publication

Title: San Diego Reader



Purpose, objective, or mission: To cover all aspects of life in San Diego.1

Target audience: People living in, or visiting, the San Diego region.

Publisher: James E. Holman.2

Peer reviewed? No.

Type: Civilian weekly alternative newspaper.

Medium: Print and online.3

Content: The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN) describes the content as follows: “Specializing in feature stories, the Reader covers San Diego life in general, with emphasis on politics and the arts and entertainment. The Reader publishes comprehensive listings of movies, events, theater, and music; restaurant and film reviews; and free classifieds.”4

Frequency of publication: Weekly.5

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Types of contributions accepted: Their website allows for online submission (requires free registration) of articles in four specific categories: CD or concert review, neighborhood news story, travel story, waterfront story, or cover story.6 They also accept letters to the editor.7 Per their website: “Woo us with actual reporting, not a cover letter written to impress your creative-writing teacher.”8

Submission and review process: There are online submission forms for each type of story.9

Editorial tone: Informal but informative.

Style guide used: None specified.

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

The San Diego Reader celebrates San Diego and its diverse people. It focuses on a variety of ordinary people and places within the county. The potential for publication of San Diego LIS authors by the San Diego Reader exists for a variety of reasons. A call for the commencement of construction on the new central library, designed a decade ago, could be shaped as a letter to the editor. Other issues that librarians and the Reader feel strongly about are equal access to information and censorship. A concise reporting of banned books week events may be framed as a neighborhood story.


Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: 90,000 as of March 2015.10

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: The focus of the Reader articles is on local San Diego life, politics, and entertainment. Its reach extends beyond San Diego County, (the sixth-largest county in the United States) into under-represented Imperial County and Baja California.

Although the Reader is written in English, there is an awareness that San Diego is a culturally diverse region. The tone is informal and direct, the vocabulary concrete, and the sentence structure is not complex. The investigative articles usually feature five to ten San Diegans to show how the issue impacts different people from a variety of backgrounds. Frequently, the names of cities and communities, as well as local businesses, are used as examples, without bothering to explain a reference to readers outside the region.

Reader characteristics: Audience demographics are not available, but readers will be residents of the San Diego area. The publication is progressive; its coverage of local politics confronts issues critically. Its bias is inherent in its values. The attitude calls attention to those who exploit the average person. Some topics are intended to evoke outrage.

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: The level of knowledge of LIS issues will vary and it can be safely assumed that readers have the same level of LIS knowledge as the general public.

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

The Reader has a reputation for high-quality writing that the readers have come to expect, suggesting, even in the limited fashion that contributions are accepted, that quality of writing would play a role in acceptance. Living in San Diego would be important in order to convey the essence of the city and county to readers.

Last updated: September 28, 2020


Show 10 footnotes

  1. “San Diego Reader,”, accessed November 1, 2016,
  2. “San Diego Reader,” Ulrichsweb, accessed November 1, 2016,
  3. San Diego Reader.”
  4. “San Diego Reader,”, accessed November 1, 2016, from
  5. “Archives,”, accessed November 1, 2016,
  6. “Contact Us,”, accessed November 1, 2016,
  7. “Letters to the Editor,”, accessed November 1, 2016,
  8. Contact Us.”
  9. Contact Us.”
  10. San Diego Reader.”
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