How El Tecolote Flooded the Mission’s Media Desert

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

By Nuala Sawyer

Every two weeks 10,000 copies of the city’s largest free, bilingual newspaper hit the streets of San Francisco, providing vital news and insights for a population left out of mainstream coverage.

San Francisco has had its fair share of media closures and launches in the past few decades. The Bay Guardian shuttered in 2014, around the same time that neighborhood news site Hoodline launched. The Bold Italic and SFist both shut down, got bought, and then reopened. But throughout all the ups and downs of the city’s media landscape, one paper has been pumping out issues every two weeks since 1970. El Tecolote is the longest-running English and Spanish newspaper in the state of California, and it’s going strong. It’s not a small operation, either: Twice a month, 10,000 free papers are distributed along its carefully curated route.

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