Live Blogging Bill Adee’s presentation at the Community Media Workshop Conference at Columbia College. Adee is the living avatar for Col. Tribune. In his presentation, he suggested that ChicagoNow.com was a place for the non-profits attending the conference to place their blog.
First, I think that the avatar of Col Tribune and the CN site are very good ideas coming out of the Tribune. His suggestion that non-profits pitch their blogs at CN is troubling. Even relatively neutral causes, and here at the conference I used the idea of theater, has competition. For example Steppenwolf is in competition with the Goodman. If a blog represents the Goodman, is that a problem for the balance of the Tribune in presenting other theater groups?
That issue becomes more complicated where society has differences of opinion, think about issues of community violence, education, social services and so on.
These are real problems. I can imagine a situation where the winners of this lottery to get a space on CN present the view of the Chicago Tribune, whether that position is consciously determined or not.
The other thing here, he announced that the Tribune will be launching a more aggressive electronic site associated with CN and that it will feature more aggressive public policy blogs that he hopes will be able to help police the government. The Tribune has been trumpeting its “watchdog” role. Well, excuse me. What was it doing before?
The final point here, Adee is trying to defend the staffing of the Trib, noting that the interactive group has grown to 45 and that the Metro Desk, of the Blue, is larger than it was six months ago. In the long run, the situation is different. Staffing in editorial as a whole has fallen from about 600 or so a few years ago to about 360 or so today, or less. Add the 45 interactive employees and you are still short of the number of editorial count at the Sun-Times Media Group by several hundred FTE.