Tuesday, January 13, 2009

EXTRA: Somebody’s confused

First, the Chicago Tribune up and goes and endorses a Democrat for president of the United States. Then, the Tribune is thinking of becoming a tabloid-format newspaper (weekdays only).

All I can say is that this newspaper seems determined to show the world that it will not be restricted by its past, even though that past is what gives the Tribune much of the character that made it unique in the world of newsgathering organizations.

TAKE A LOOK at the graphic to be found here (http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/towerticker/2009/01/chicago-tribune.html) that shows just how a tabloid-format Tribune compares to a broadsheet format. Then come back to the Chicago Argus and ponder this point, which is based on my own observation and knowledge of newspaper formats.

Is the problem with that tabloid Tribune page the fact that there aren’t enough graphics? In short, that it would be a paper that wishes it were a broadsheet.

And isn’t much of the problem with the recently redesigned Tribune broadsheet newspaper is that the graphics are overdone to the point where one gets the impression that somebody wishes the paper were truly a tabloid?

Basically, is the problem with the Chicago Tribune these days a matter of the people in charge not having a clue as to what kind of publication they want to be?

IF ANYTHING, TRYING to determine the answer to that question is more important than coming up with new formats or graphic elements or any other nonsense.

But at least the Tribune had enough sense when it came to last year’s presidential endorsements. Just think of how ridiculous and out-of-touch with its home city the newspaper would have looked had it persisted with its rigid Republican endorsements and backed Sarah Palin for vice president?


EDITOR’S NOTE: Chicago Tribune management seems to think that commuters who are turned off by the Sun-Times’ slight history of being liberal will want to read a tabloid (http://www.poynter.org/content/content_view.asp?id=156872) version of the one-time World’s Greatest Newspaper.

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