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 March-April 2006

March-April 2006


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Disapointed Reader

After enjoying Alameda Magazine enough to subscribe, I was very disappointed to see the December 2005 issue and the East Bay Medical Guide. The list of doctors and hospitals was irrelevant to those of us with health insurance, and it was irrelevant to those in Alameda who are uninsured, since only one doctor practiced in Alameda. Wouldn’t we want to look for a doctor closer to home first?

Then I realized that my real problem with this list taking up almost an entire issue wasn’t that it wasn’t about Alameda, and that indeed, you could (and did) just as easily run it in your Oakland Magazine. No, the problem is that it is just a huge ad. Literally. I wondered why the photo next to Alta Bates Hospital looked so familiar. It was because I had seen it on a television ad. And exactly what kind of objectivity is there in nominees turning around and nominating the physicians who nominated them the previous year?

Further, why should we subscribe to a magazine about Alameda that is really your Oakland Magazine with some Alameda restaurant and activity listings? I see an unfortunate sequence of events here.

Shame on you for overshadowing the one article you did have, about Alice Lai-Bitker, and for attempting to link it to your huge medical ad in your letter from the editor. And, please, calling a couple of pictures of fireplaces a feature article is beyond ludicrous, especially when it’s treated as seriously as the Lai- Bitker article.

I’m unhappy about paying to see this huge, irrelevant, biased medical advertising section. You do your paying advertisers a disservice. Or perhaps someone did pay you to run this “article”? It certainly didn’t seem to involve any original work on your part, just some PR blurbs and photos.

I would say that this is the beginning of the end for Alameda Magazine, but in fact, it ended with the previous issue. Another non-issue like this, and I’ll be asking for a refund that includes the December issue.

Gale Mitchell

Ed. Note:

The East Bay Medical Guide to which the writer refers appeared in Alameda and Oakland Magazines and included editorial and advertising content. We commissioned articles on four health topics and a hospital directory. Alameda Publishing Group used company resources to develop a proprietary directory of physicians. The list of the 122 best doctors in the East Bay was excerpted from a database compiled by Best Doctors in America in exchange for a full-page advertisement. The medical guide also contained a special advertising section of physician profiles in which participants paid for inclusion.

We want to hear from you. Send letters to the editor to Letters at Alameda Magazine, 1417 Everett St., Alameda, CA 94501. You can fax letters to (510) 747-1067, and you can e-mail them to letters@alamedamagazine. com. Letters may be edited for conciseness and clarity. All letters must be signed and include a day telephone number for verification. No anonymous letters will be published, although names may be withheld by request.