Jon Margolis, the former chief political reporter for the Chicago Tribune discusses what he did when ‘real news didn’t come to him’ anymore. He launched an online journal – vermontnewsguy.com. This is either a ‘How To’ or ‘How Not To’ account, Margolis writes. “Wait until you finish, then choose the option you think more accurate,” he suggests.
More on this tomorrow, but just to link today’s (Monday) news that the Tribune Co. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, as reported here by the group’s own newspaper the LA Times, as well as numerous other news sources. The group also owns KTLA Channel 5, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun as well as nine other newspapers and 22 other television and radio stations across the country.
The group’s chief executive Sam Zell said in a statement (via CNNmoney.co.uk):
“Factors beyond our control have created a perfect storm – a precipitous decline in revenue and a tough economy coupled with a credit crisis that makes it extremely difficult to support our debt.”
“We believe that this restructuring will bring the level of our debt in line with current economic realities, and will take pressure off our operations.”
The groups says it is able to sustain operations while it restructures. Here, Editor & Publisher looks at concerns inside the newsroom.
Excerpts from Sam Zell’s memo can be read here.
As reported all over the shop, yesterday saw the launch of the online news aggregator site, The Daily Beast, captained by former editor of Tatler, Vanity Fair and The NewYorker, Tina Brown, and backed by Barry Diller, of IAC/InterActiveCorp.
Named after the fictional tabloid in Evelyn Waugh’s 1938 novel, Scoop, Tina Brown describes The Daily Beast, on her site, as: “the omnivorous friend who hears about the best stuff and forwards it to you with a twist.”
Her motley crew boasts the satirist Chris Buckley, former McCain adviser Mark McKinnon, Project Runway’s Laura Bennett and Facebook’s Randi Zuckerberg.
The site’s bold red and black design has a large list of contributors and features a collection of news, opinion, blogs, links and video.
Steve Johnson at the Chicago Tribune reckons there’s irony in the choice of title but doesn’t think that necessarily matters.
With absolutely no advertising on the site, it will be interesting to see whether The Daily Beast can survive in the online jungle. It seems to have had a lion’s share of initial hype at least.
The winds have slowed down to a tropical storm, but the Gustav blogging continues.
The mainstream media is reporting on the blogging phenomenon as well as the actual hurricane: the Chicago Tribune looks at the decision-making power of blogs and FollowTheMedia comments that the hurricane may stop print, but not the web.
Meanwhile, over at Poynter, NPR’s Andy Carvin examines the role of social media in Gustav coverage.
As we posted yesterday, this was one for the Twitterers and they tweet on as people assess the damage. A quick twitter local search shows how the twitterers regard the media professionals…
Pictures can be found easily on this Flickr search and over at gustavbloggers.com they reflect that it wasn’t as bad as they feared. Meanwhile, to prepare for reportage of the next natural disaster, the Blog Herald offers its disaster blogging tips.
The Chicago Tribune’s move into the social media world of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter has result in an 8 per cent rise in page views.
The paper will publish a map and local news articles powered by EveryBlock, an announcement on the site’s blog says. Articles from the last 48 hours will be plotted on the Trib map to allow users to search geographically.
“[I]t’s an experiment in a new form of news dissemination – that is, news filtered at the block level – and journalists can look to us for inspiration in new forms of publishing information. Second, we unearth a lot of government data that journalists might be interested in researching further,” EveryBlock founder Adrian Holovaty said in an interview with Journalism.co.uk.
The Chicago Tribune is to follow the LA Times by culling newsroom jobs and reducing the number of pages in its printed editions.
Around 80 of its 578 newsroom posts are expected to be culled with further cuts appearing in non-journalistic positions.
The printed edition of the Tribune is expected to reduce the number of pages it publishes by 13 or 14 per cent each week.
Management began informing staff of the changes late on Tuesady, the Tribune itself reported.
This is the fourth round of staff cuts since 2005, when the paper had nearly 700 newsroom staff on its books. In real terms the paper expects to lose around 55 people as positions made vacant in recent months have remained unfilled.
Last week, The Los Angeles Times, another Tribune Company newspaper, announced that it would reduce the number of pages it published each week by 15 per cent anddo away with 250 staff roles, 150 of them from the newsroom.
The Chicago Tribune has reportedly signed a deal with digital video recorder manufacturer TiVo that will see the selections of its TV critic Maureen Ryan automatically delivered to the sets of subscribers to the service.
The Chicago Tribune explains why it has shut down comment boards on its web site for all political news stories.
The Chicago Tribune‘s network of hyperlocal news sites, Triblocal.com, has launched 13 more websites and will launch print editions for these sites later in the year, according to a posting on Online News Squared.
This development boosts the total number of Triblocal.com sites to 21 since its launch at the beginning of 2007.
A further 14 sites are planned by the end of 2008 according to Triblocal’s general manager Jane Jansen, the site reports.