Yesterday, we ran a story about a chartered commuter bus striking and killing a pedestrian at a Saratoga community college on its way to Google’s main campus in Mountain View.
We heard from a concerned reader, Harold, about the decision to run the story in the first spot in our rundown.
"Fatalities are not news, in and of themselves. Nor is the fact that Google makes an effort to transport workers to their workplace in modes of transport besides personal automobiles. How many fatalities have resulted from private cars driving to and from Apple, Google, Yahoo, Facebook? C'mon. You are better than this."
(I also heard feedback from our CEO, Jason, who also questioned the newsworthiness of the story.)
My response to both Harold and Jason was that this item ticks off a number of things we look for in stories to feature.
Most significantly, it was widely covered yesterday throughout the Bay Area, on both TV and in print. Additionally, it links up to a larger, ongoing news story, the growing tension between the city’s newly-arrived tech workers and long-time residents and locals.
I think the answer is probably that we should have MENTIONED the ongoing context of the story - the protests against the Google bus that kicked off in late 2013, and how the program has come to symbolize the larger debate about San Francisco’s population and future direction. Just leaving the item there without any kind of larger scope leaves our reasoning behind including it open to interpretation. We’ll do our best to include important additional info like, whenever relevant, moving forward.
If YOU see something in Inside SF that gives you pause, or seems unreasonable, please do hit REPLY and let us know! We love hearing from our readers.