Tuesday, April 08, 2014

This Made Me Laugh

Thank goodness David Sirota has finally arrived in my former home-town to whip the Chicago media into shape. Because who better to crack the Byzantine world of Chicago politics and corruption than Salon magazine's former expert on the secret, malevolent inner motives of the President of the United States :-)

That said, The Reader has been doing yeoman's work for decades.  If they've found a way to get Pando to help cover their costs, bully for them.

Also and just for the record, on the subject of investigative reporting in Chicago, there used to be a thing called the City News Bureau of Chicago.  Maybe you've heard of it.  For over a century it cranked out some of the best hard-core, street-level reporters in American journalism --
City News Bureau of Chicago, or City Press, was a news bureau that served as one of the first cooperative news agencies in the United States. It was founded in the late 19th century by the newspapers of Chicago to provide a common source of local and breaking news and also used by them as a training ground for new reporters. Hundreds of reporters have "graduated" from the City News Bureau into newspaper dailies - both local and national - or other avenues of writing.

The City News Bureau had reporters in all important news sites, courthouses, Chicago City Hall, the County Building, Criminal Courts, as well as having as many as ten police reporters on duty. It operated around the clock and all year round. The reporters, though young, worked in competition with some of the best reporters in the country, working on the same stories as all the others, questioning politicians and police, and fighting for scoops.

They covered every single death reported to the coroner's office, every important meeting, every news conference, every court case that had once been a news story, even if the trial wasn't newsworthy.[citation needed]

The training was rigorous.[citation needed] The reporters were all amateurs when they came to work, but the rewrite men were professionals, accustomed to teaching in a hard school...
Chicago's City News Bureau --home of the motto, ``If your mother says she loves you, check it out"--will close its doors next spring, ending 108 years of covering cops, courts and local government.

The much-loved City News, known for its speed, accuracy and dogged reporters, fought a financial battle that this year produced a loss of $1 million. Its co-owners, the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times , decided in late October to shut down the wire service around March 1, 1999.

Larry Green , the Sun-Times' executive editor, says the move was purely about money. ``If we were making this decision based on emotion, it would still be open."

City News' star-studded list of alumni boasts Pulitzer Prize winners Mike Royko and Seymour Hersh , actor Melvyn Douglas and author Kurt Vonnegut , who all did City News stints early in their careers. Also on that list is Charles MacArthur , who, along with Ben Hecht , wrote the Broadway play ``The Front Page" based on his experience as a City News reporter...
It came back for awhile as a shadow of its former self, and still exists as a college course at Northwest, but in reality it's gone and we are all the poorer for it.


Kathleen said...

But who needs an incubator for solid investigative journalism when David Shrillrota's idol ("Glenn! Glenn! Look at meeeee! Over heeeere!) has established the Glenn Greenwald Academy For The Terminally Self Absorbed?

Yastreblyansky said...

Omigod you do realize that David Brooks spent a few weeks, possibly months, at the City News Bureau after graduating in 1983, before he moved on to opinionation at the Washington Times? It's on the basis of that that he's said he has reporting experience ever since.