In the wake of the announcement that four local news stations are going to share news coverage (WMAQ-Ch. 5, WFLD-Ch. 32, WBBM-Ch. 2, and WGN-Ch. 9), the Chicago Reader is up in arms about the RedEye and The Chicago Tribune sharing stories.
As reported by the Reader, the Tuesday RedEye ran a front page story that also appeared in the Tuesday Trib. Now, the RedEye is clearly the baby version of the Trib, and I’d actually be surprised to learn that more stories didn’t appear in both papers. So, what’s the issue here? If you dig a little deeper, you’ll learn that the Reader is a little salty that the front page of the RedEye looked too much like their April 9th edition.
You be the judge. Is it plagiarism between the city’s alternative weekly and its dominant daily? Or are we now at a place with our news that there isn’t room (a.k.a. money) for papers to still have their own identity. Forget the similar image (parking meters do say fail on them), what about the fact that we’re repeating content and subject areas?
Heck, WLS-Ch. 7 is the only station that didn’t join forces to share news. Is everyone going to need to become comfortable seeing the same news, told the same way, by the same people?