|News boy 1948, by Irving Penn |
(Metropolitan Museum of Art)
“The Northern Illinois Newspaper Association today calls for journalists, news organizations, units of government and the general public to rally around Tribune Company employee efforts to maintain the integrity of one of our nation’s great news organizations. This statement follows reports that Alden Global, a New York hedge fund, has bought a 32 percent stake in Tribune Publishing.”“Journalists?” Hey, that’s me!
My first thought — God, this is embarrassing — was, “Is the Sun-Times even a member of NINA?” We tend not to join that sort of thing. Save the $250. I checked NINA’s membership. The Hinsdalean. The Woodstock Independent. The Rock Island Argus. Thirteen publications and three individuals. The heart breaks.
Whew! I thought. Off the hook.
Such a petty reaction made me reconsider. What did it even mean to “rally” around the Tribune? Send thoughts and prayers? Lash out at Alden? That loathsome vivisectionist of newspapers, buying them up, selling off assets, hacking away expenses, leaving behind a stripped corpse. Tribune writers are lining up to do that already, ignoring that Alden exists in a gold-plated empyrean of wealth far above the influence of public image. “What matters infamy if the cash be kept?” Juvenal writes.
What hasn’t been said? There’s the Michael Ferro angle. Ferro sold out to Alden, a petty act of vindictiveness that hasn’t gotten enough scorn. I knew him, slightly, had lunch with him. He had his own wacky notions of where the paper should go — reporters would wear Google glasses and livestream news events that algorithms would automatically chop into videos. Maybe that’s still coming.
To continue reading, click here.