Tonight, I watched an episode of a local news program called Chicago Tonight. One segment included a discussion with three guests about the future of newspapers. One of those guests was an editor from the venerable Tribune, another was a former writer for the Chicago Sun-Times. Needless to say, between these two gents the experience level was high.
The discussion was fairly gloomy–people in charge at the Tribune are desperate to save the paper from certain death, and have been brainstorming a variety of ideas on how to prevent its demise. Between the editor at the Trib and the former writer for the Sun-Times, I got the distinct impression that nobody in charge of one of Chicago’s most respected daily papers really understands why newspapers are getting slaughtered.
The worst example of this came when the editor at the Chicago Tribune stated quite clearly that he is “not Internet savvy”. I said out loud to the television, ‘And that’s why the Chicago Tribune is going to fold.”
The Internet is not killing newspapers–they are doing a fine job of committing suicide all by themselves. Any editor who does not understand and respect the ‘net is doomed just as surely as a woolly mammoth sinking into the La Brea tar pits. Bleat all you want, big fellah. You’re still going down.
I would love to pimp myself out to these newspapers as a consultant–or better yet as a new media ombudsman–and command a hefty fee to show them how NOT to get murdered in the age of the Internet. Since no offers are currently forthcoming, I’ll share a few “secrets” here. Continue reading Why the Chicago Tribune is Going To Fold