The San Francisco Chronicle demonstrated transparency by explaining their reporting process for a story about the quick expansion of food delivery services in the city. The paper included the following statement in a box that was attached to the story: “Chronicle reporters interviewed six restaurant owners and four delivery drivers for this story, and contacted 19 restaurants to confirm that their listings on delivery apps were unauthorized. In addition, a Chronicle reporter ordered food from two restaurants listed on Grubhub without their permission to see how the delivery experience would work.”
San Francisco Chronicle columnist John King included a box in one of his stories that helped explain the function of columns and how the reporting process worked. “Like the news articles that The Chronicle publishes, our columns seek to be thoroughly reported, using interviews and data to back up the writer’s observations. But columns allow writers to offer readers their own perspective on the issues they’re examining,” the box read. “John King’s columns on urban design and architecture are drawn from his exploration of the Bay Area landscape as well as research into projects; interviews with planners, designers and residents; and on-site visits.”
When quoting an anonymous source in an article about the spread of COVID-19 at a local nursing home, the San Fransisco Chroncile included a box that explained what an anonymous source is and the newsroom’s policies for using them. “The Chronicle strives to attribute all information we report to credible, reliable, identifiable sources. Presenting information from an anonymous source occurs extremely rarely, and only when that information is considered crucially important and all other on-the-record options have been exhausted,” the box read. “In such cases, The Chronicle has complete knowledge of the unnamed person’s identity and of how that person is in position to know the information.”
In a story about presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar, the San Fransisco Chroncicle inserted language in the story to tell readers how and why they were covering Democratic presidential candidates, and how the paper was striving to provide equal coverage. “The Chronicle is examining how California would look if the major Democratic presidential candidates were elected and could implement their top policy priorities,” the box read. “Candidates’ positions are taken from their websites, their campaign comments, and in some cases legislation they have sponsored in office.”
Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle Audrey Cooper wrote a column telling their audience that while their journalists and entire news operation were working remotely, they were still just as committed to providing accurate, timely news to the community. “It’s critical that we be there to make sure that you have the information you need to make decisions about what’s right for your family and for your community, ” Cooper wrote. “Whether we are recording podcasts from under a sound-dulling blanket fort (yes, I did that), conducting interviews in a child’s closet among stuffed animals (as reporter Matthias Gafni did), or updating the live updates story while batting away a persistent cat (thanks, Lauren Hernández), we will do everything we can to ensure we provide you with the news now and well after the crisis is over.”