Dear Reader

A letter from the editorial team

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Dear Reader / San Diego Magazine Logo

We’re living in a profoundly historic time. Black Americans and other people of color have borne far too much suffering under systemic racism in our country, for far too long, and have seen far too little change, for anyone with a beating heart to remain silent about it or stand idly by.

The killing of George Floyd, the worldwide protests against police brutality toward black people, and the demands for reform that have followed, have made it clear that it is not enough to simply be “not racist”—for any lasting good to occur, we must, each one of us, be proactively anti-racist.

So we’re writing both to tell you where our values stand, and to promise to take action going forward.

First: San Diego Magazine condemns white supremacy no matter where it manifests—in overt statements, in institutional biases, and in unexamined assumptions. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and every other organization working to redress structural inequity and create a more just, merciful society.

Second: We recognize that these would be empty words, and that we could not claim to be a company that raises the voices of our neighbors, if we did not follow them up with concrete actions that we can be held accountable for.

Being proactively anti-racist means different things for different institutions. Teddy Roosevelt believed that people should “Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.” And what we’ve got is a platform for telling the stories of San Diego.

We’re lucky to report on lighthearted material most of the time—like family-run restaurants, local independent fashion boutiques, and fascinating facts about the landmarks and the people who make this the city we love—and we have no intention of stopping that.

But neither do we shy away from serious topics from time to time, like the representation of women in city hall, the struggles faced by our homeless population, or the endangered livelihood of our working-class fishing industry. We’re proud of our annual Charitable Giving Guide, which shines a spotlight on the San Diegans working every day to do good for those who are at risk or in need.

It’s important to state for the record that regardless of the subject, we editors take our role as journalists seriously, and we hold ourselves to the same standards of ethics that you would expect of any other trusted media. That means we alone have the final say in what topics to pursue and what content to publish.

We have never, and will never, tell a story that compromises our ethics or our aforementioned values due to pressure from our executive leadership, our sales or marketing departments, our advertisers, or anyone else. We’re proud of our product, and we stand by everything with the name San Diego Magazine on it.

We were a small business even before the pandemic briefly suspended our publication. Our office was home to fewer than 40 people, including six full-time art or editorial staff who contracted with a fantastic roster of freelance writers and photographers. And right now, less than half that number are working hard to reimagine what our first print issue after our time away will look like.

Reader, we promise you that as we begin the work of returning to our full capacity, we are doing so with full awareness of the responsibility that comes with having a trusted platform. We promise to tell more stories from the communities who have been underrepresented.

And should we successfully navigate these highly uncertain economic times, we promise you that when our full-time staff and our freelance roster return to their former numbers, those ranks themselves will better represent the racial diversity of our city.

Every one of us can do something to help. And we at San Diego Magazine are committed to doing our part. We always welcome your feedback in this endeavor, at hello@sdmag.com.

Yours respectfully,

The Editorial Team

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