Today's AP article about cohousing
From: Robert Finn (
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2009 11:53:54 -0800 (PST)
This is a letter I wrote to Adrian Sainz, who wrote the AP article on cohousing that's appearing all over the US today. If you want to send your own letter, send it to info [at] and it will be forwarded.

Mr. Sainz,

Good morning. My name is Bob Finn. I'm a journalist, San Francisco Bureau Chief for the International Medical News Group. I'm also a resident of a cohousing community--Pleasant Hill Cohousing in Contra Costa County east of San Francisco. Your article on cohousing appeared in the Contra Costa Times on February 7, 2009, where it happened to be accompanied by a nice photo of my wife, Joanne Finn. It also appeared in many other papers and is all over the Internet.

While your article was in the main a fine one, I'm writing to pick a bone with you about your lede. It's an unfortunate example of a kind of journalistic Heisenberg uncertainty principle, in which the act of examining something changes it.

Your article starts "Picture a neighborhood where doors can be left unlocked, . . ."

As a result of that sentence, hundreds and hundreds of cohousers all over the country are going to have to start locking their doors all the time. That's because, hard as it may be to believe, some burglars and other miscreants read the news. Many cohousing communities, such as the one I live in, are in urban areas. You've advertised that we're easy pickings.

I don't know that there's anything you or the AP can do about this, but I just wanted you to know in my opinion your lede, even if true, was irresponsible.


Bob Finn
finn [at]

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