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The SF Weekly is a free alternative weekly newspaper in San Franciscomarker, Californiamarker, United Statesmarker. The newspaper, distributed throughout the San Francisco Bay Areamarker every Wednesday, is published by Village Voice Media, a 16-paper alt weekly newspaper chain that also includes the New York Citymarker Village Voice and the Los Angeles, Californiamarker LA Weekly. Founded locally in the mid 1980s and bought by Village Voice Media (then New Times Media) in 1995, the SF Weekly has garnered many notable national journalism awards and enjoys mixed reviews by the Bay Area community. The paper sponsors the annual SF Weekly Music Awards, also known as the Wammies.

Editorial Slant
The SF Weekly is politically independent, and encourages its writers to form and support educated opinions about the topics upon which they report. Contrarianism and questioning of political dogma is openly encouraged. The paper combines columns critical of both the left and right, emphasizing investigative reportage, long-form, narrative feature writing, and comprehensive arts and entertainment coverage.

Major sections
  • News: includes local, regional and sometimes statewide short and long news stories
  • Arts and Entertainment: includes a weekly calendar, city events listings, a music section with a weekly music column, several music features, show previews, and CD reviews. Also includes a bi-monthly Books and Arts section, a food column, DVD reviews, theater reviews, the nightlife column Bouncer, as well as the syndicated sex advice column Savage Love, and astrology chart Free Will Astrology.
  • Online Offerings: the Snitch news blog and the All Shook Down music and arts blog. Both offer daily news, day-after live show reviews, and mp3s for download.

National Society of Newspaper Columnists awards:
  • 2009: Humor: 1st Place: Katy St. Clair, Bouncer
Association of Alternative Newsweeklies awards:
  • 2004: Investigative Reporting: (Above 50,000) 1st Place (tie): "Death, Maiming, Money, and Muni" by Peter Byrne, SF Weekly
  • 2004: News Story: (Above 50,000) 1st Place: Lisa Davis, SF Weekly
  • 2002: Investigative Reporting: (Above 54,000) 1st Place: "Fallout" by Lisa Davis and John Mecklin, SF Weekly

The paper trains anywhere from 1-5 up and coming reporters per academic quarter, but interns must receive academic credit for their work.


SF Weekly newsstand.
Armenian Genocide
  • With an October 30, 2007 Op-Ed blog entitled "SF's Needs to Kill Its Armenian Genocide Resolution", Benjamin Wachs stirred controversy due to remarks deemed to be extremely offensive by descendants of survivors of the genocide by pondering what gift would most appropriate for his girlfriend to celebrate Armenian Genocide Day.[120601] The Weekly's former web editor David Downs responded by musing "If there was a genocide, then why is there so many left of you around to bitch?" [120602]

  • The SF Weekly was the subject of ethical controversy in Jan., 2006, when a column about the AVN porn awards misidentified the event's location and honorees. The paper's editor had apparently altered a column about a different event from years ago.[120603][120604]
  • The San Francisco Bay Guardian, another free alternative weekly newspaper distributed every Wednesday in the SF Bay Area, sued the SF Weekly in civil court, alleging that it tried to put the Bay Guardian out of business by selling ads below cost. The Guardian won the suit in March, 2008, and was granted a $15.9 million award, including an injunction and punitive damages, in May, 2008.

Reviewers on criticized:
  • the erratic quality of news coverage
  • ownership by Village Voice Media LLC., based out of Phoenix, Arizonamarker
  • the paper's promotional partnership with Bill Graham Presents
  • allegations of a poor work environment for ad salespeople.


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