By Jamie Daniel, Advancement Associate at The Forum
The Tribune Company, which owns The Hartford Courant as well as The Chicago Cubs, 10 dailies and 23 TV Stations, filed for bankruptcy yesterday in an effort to buy itself more time to either save or sell its ailing businesses. Although other papers are experiencing tough times (even newspaper giant The New York Times is talking with lenders to help repay the staggering debt it owes) The Tribune Co. has been operating in the red for so long and spreading itself so thin with outsourcing that media experts and company insiders acknowledge that it will likely be close to impossible for them to recover, even with serious overhauling.
It's hard to know exactly what this growing instability of the medium, coupled with the economic crises, means for the future of print journalism. Buyouts are encouraging some of the best, most experienced (read: highest-paid) journalists to leave their papers, and those who remain are left to deal with job insecurity and low company morale. While journalism can certainly be effective, provocative and informative through the channel of new media - where costs are lower, advertisers are more easily enticed and news feeds can be updated in real time - I still feel an early onset of nostalgia for what hasn't even been lost yet. There is something so wonderfully serendipitous about reading the newspaper and stumbling upon an unexpected gem. The physicality of spreading out the Sunday paper, swapping sections and sipping a cup of coffee just does not translate to a laptop. Is this really the end, or can papers like The Courant rally, re-energize and bounce back? I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a rebirth.