Extra! Extra!

I’m sort of a sinner, as far as people who write for newspapers go, because I only buy them on Sundays.  I’m not sure if that’s something to feel bad about, considering how few people seem to buy print newspapers these days at all. But during the week, I don’t really have time to spend two hours spread out on the couch with the Times and Trib; even if I did, the money to buy two papers seven days a week isn’t quite there. In short, it’s much more convenient and economical for me to get news online the other six days.

This is why today was my first opportunity to check out the Chicago Tribune’s new design. (OK, so I could’ve last weekend, but it was Father’s Day and didn’t end up buying the paper.) Newcity had a nice little review of the redesign/changes. I especially liked the writer’s point about columnist photos — I, too, am not sure I like having to see the super-cheddar, supposed-to-be-intimidating picture of John Kass whenever I open to Page Two. http://newcity.com/2011/06/15/press-relief-a-quick-scan-of-the-new-tribune/

Personally, my favorite thing about the redesign is the font. Very clean, much more stoic. The old font was sort of embarrassing. A close second: the new section headings.

It might be my imagination, but it also seems as though the content itself — which had been abbreviated to briefs, basically, in recent years — has gotten longer, and increasingly narrative. Which I think is good, especially in a Sunday paper.

Like the Newcity writer points out, the Tribune is still so skimpy on the books coverage.  I remember, as a teenager, reading three sections: Sports, Travel and Books. Maybe the Trib doesn’t have the ability, as the New York Times still does, to devote an entire section to Books. But the Trib’s Arts&Entertainment section today published a “Best of 2011 So Far” list that included Films, Theater and Music — everything from jazz to classical to pop — but no books.

Still, I am pleased that the Trib seems to be embracing their print product for what it is, and not trying to make it more like their web product.

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About Eric Lutz

Eric Lutz is a Chicago-based writer. His work frequently appears in Newcity magazine. He has also written for the Chicago Reader, Welter and a number of newspapers. View all posts by Eric Lutz

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