In my e-mail today, was a letter from the Chicago Tribune, of which I am a subscriber and have been for the last 30 years or so. Chicago used to have 3-4 outstanding daily newspapers. The Chicago Sun, the Chicago Daily, the Chicago Times and the Chicago Tribune. At some point, the Daily & the Times merged, to become the Chicago Daily Times, and then they further merged with the Sun, to become the Chicago Sun-Times.
Eventually, the Chicago Sun-Times bent to pressure, and became a clone of the USA Today style of reporting, using large colour photographs, and huge headlines to capture attention, and setting content to the wayside. It's the modern "instant gratification" generation, and they can't compete with television.
That left one decent daily newspaper in Chicago, still immersed in a proud Journalist heritage.... the Chicago Tribune. The Chicago Tribune was founded in 1847, and while many have never read a copy of the Chicago Tribune, you're probably all familiar with the infamous front page that announced, incorrectly, in 1948 that Dewey defeated Truman.
Okay... back to the e-mail from the Trib. In the email, the Tribune announced they were reinventing my newspaper in ways they hope will enlighten, provoke, entertain and surprise me every day. They’re introducing new sections and content to make the Tribune even more relevant and useful to me in my daily life, while they maintain their commitment to compelling storytelling, blockbuster investigative reporting and illuminating analysis and commentary
Additionally, they provided a link and asked me to go check out the redesign, and please provide them with feedback. I clicked on the link, and found myself staring at a USA Today or People magazine style clone. I am aghast.
I cannot clip any part of the new redesign... please click on the link, and let me know what you think. I recognize, that with today's instant gratification consumer, newspapers are falling by the wayside. My daughter (and her compatriots) does not have a subscription to a newspaper, and probably never will... She occasionally picks up a copy of the RedEye (a free Tribune publication the caters to the USA Today type-crowd), but gets the bulk of her news from the television, or the Internet (Yahoo's front page).
I know, I'm sounding like my own father, here. "When I was a boy...", but this dumbing down of a national icon saddens me greatly. I don't have the answer for the Tribune, or other nationally known newspapers. I know they're losing readership every day, and they're bleeding cash. Real estate is partly to blame, as we pull print ads by the thousands from print media, because it's an ineffective method of advertising listings and open houses. We've propped them up for years with full page ads of listing after listing, and open houses galore. Today we list everything on-line, which is current (live), allows for more descriptive text, more color photos, current open house information... at a much reduced cost.
btw... both of these images have been around long enough to be considered "public domain" today.