Ode to Newsprint

Ink on my finger tips
Paper in my hands
Words passing before my eyes
Stories playing with my mind

Something to hold
Something to buy
Something to wait for
Something for the dog to retrieve

Put the garbage in…
Or put in the recycle bin
Have delivered to your door
Have delivery stopped for vacation

Enjoy by the fireplace
Enjoy at the breakfast table
Share with the family
Share with a friend

Find a job
Find a “passing”
Find a laugh
Find a reason to cry

Discover a vacation idea
Discover an interesting sport
Discover a good recipe
Discover a new “side” of yourself

The Chicago Tribune in “newsprint” is fading. We still get it delivered. And, I mean paper thrown on the front lawn each morning. Thanks to the Internet and cell phones, virtual delivery is faster and perhaps more expedient. Virtual delivery won’t replace THE Chicago Trib. The Sunday Trib at one time probably weighted, sometimes, a couple of pounds! This was during the Christmas holiday season. It contained tons and tons of ads.  But we can’t blame it all on “the Net” or technology. As I’ve written before in other blogs, progress causes unintended consequence sometimes. Unfortunately, certain investors burdened Tribune Company® with a ton of debt and that has not worked out very well for the company, its stock, or its employees.

The Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago is being re-purposed  into condos.  A question I have is, “Can a newspaper be re-purposed?” Guess it is in transition right now. First the type was digitized in the early 1970s; newspaper creation progressed from “hot” type to “cold” type. No longer was “copy” sent to a human typesetter, the reporter used a computer screen, typed in the story electronically, and although mechanical printing presses are used to produce the final product, newspaper publishing is changed. I’m not going to say “forever”, nothing is “forever.” Forever is a man-made concept.

What has prompted this diatribe?  OK, blame it on nostalgia. But even the name of the company is being changed! Actually The Tribune Company was split into two different companies, one containing all of the legacy newspaper holdings (like the Chicago Tribune® and the Los Angeles Times®), this company is now called Tribune Publishing Company® but is being renamed tronc®. Oh, and I did not forget to capitalize the “T”, the new name is written in all lower-case.

The legacy Tribune Company was founded in 1847, Eighteen Forty-seven. This is (was)  a Chicago-area based institution with a legendary past. I recently blogged about another Illinois company, Haeger Pottery,  which is going out of business, read about it here: Free trade agreements, cheap stuff and American jobs,  Haeger Pottery opened for  business in 1871.

Unlike Haeger Pottery, Tribune Publishing Company, or I guess I should say, tronc is still “around.” So I’ll watch for my morning paper, wrapped in a plastic bag so it doesn’t get wet from dew, rain or snow. I’ll read it at breakfast or as I’m cozied up on the couch. There’s no dog to retrieve it but sometimes another human will in my place.

I just can’t image reading The Trib in bed using a cell phone, iPad, or whatever. I just can’t…


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