Mike Miner’s excellent Hot Type column in the Chicago Reader this week focuses on comments made by veteran Tribune staffers toward the company management. One of those staffers, writer Rick Kogan, reflects that all this talk about reinvention should not forget that “it’s all about the word.”

While I’ve always admired Kogan and his work, he should realize that in the new world, it’s about the “story” more than the “word.” There are great stories out there that can be better told through other means — like video — and journalists need to be aware that words are now just one tool in their storytelling pallete. Specialization is a thing of the past, so good journalists must learn how to use words, video, still images and illustrations to effectively tell the story in an informative and compelling way.

Also, the new bosses at TribCo may be a bit off kilter, but you’ve got to give them credit for shaking off the moss that has enveloped the Tower. Frankly, they’re doing their job of sparking discussion and debate among the staff, and hopefully through that the Trib will find a way to survive and thrive.

Frankly, I think the entire newspaper industry could use a few more Sam Zells to pull its head out of the sand and realize they must change and adapt with demands of the new readers.


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