Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Tribune Review

Newsday, a Trib Inc. paper, says that MoveOn will "confront" Tribune Co. CEO Dennis FitzSimons with 45,000 signatures protesting deep staff cuts at his newspapers.
Todd Gitlin, a professor at Columbia University's School of Journalism, said the MoveOn effort has "the potential to be effective," but only if there are shareholders sympathetic to its message.

"We know how they think they can raise profits - by hollowing out and crippling the [journalistic] enterprise," he said of media executives. "Maybe there will be stockholders who think otherwise."
So maybe this plea will do some good.

Or maybe not.
Tribune Co. execs say that by year-end, the company will have cut 4% of its workforce and will likely cut another 4% in 2006. Tribune Publishing president Scott Smith says the publishing side of the company will likely cut another 800 jobs in 2006 on top of the cuts from this year.
Some folks have asked -- feciciously, one hopes -- whether the Trib jobs are worth saving. After all, aren't they just another brick in the MSM wall, man?

Yeah, the Trib sometimes gets things wrong -- and sometimes gets things shockingly wrong -- but the city and nation need all the good journalists they can get. Or, at the very least, we need quality newspaper men and women who can recognize one of the most important stories of the year when they see it.

Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell wonders why the only your Chicago Tribune and five other big papers put the 9/11 commission's report card on Page One.
"The San Francisco Chronicle had the most lavish treatment, with a huge replica of a school report card included," he writes. "The others were: San Jose's Mercury News, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Houston Chronicle, on the other hand, carried the headline: 'Concerns Over Face Transplant Grow.'"
That day's Sun-Times' Page One -- including the glorious quote, "We're not teenagers who got knocked up in the back of a car" -- is available here.

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