The Chicago Tribune is hiring 44-year newsroom veteran Randy Weissman as a consultant to help develop and implement appropriate changes at embattled Journatic and the Chicago Tribune, which has invested in the hyper-local content provider. The paper announced a week ago that it was suspending use of Journatic after discovering that a TribLocal sports story was plagiarized and had a fabricated quote.
A memo to Tribune staff says:
Randy’s deep knowledge of editorial processes and journalistic standards make him an ideal choice to do this work, as well as to evaluate the changes Journatic has already begun implementing.
Weissman was Tribune news administration editor before the paper let him go a year ago.
Read the full memo after the jump.
I thought it would be helpful to update you on the status of TribLocal.
As you know, hyper-local news is extremely important to readers and consumers across the country. Many media companies like Chicago Tribune are committed to providing this important content, but have been increasingly challenged to do so in an economically sustainable way.
That was behind our strategy of using Journatic as a content provider for TribLocal. Our goal was to increase the amount of hyper-local content we provide to our readers, and to do so in a more cost efficient way. The move also enabled us to take some of the savings and increase the suburban watchdog coverage provided by Chicago Tribune editorial staffers.
Last week, we announced a review of Journatic’s procedures and practices and the way in which we utilize the company’s editorial content. To help complete this process, Randy Weissman, a 44-year newsroom veteran, is returning on a consulting basis to help develop and implement appropriate changes at Journatic and the Chicago Tribune. Randy’s deep knowledge of editorial processes and journalistic standards make him an ideal choice to do this work, as well as to evaluate the changes Journatic has already begun implementing.
The demand for hyper-local content and competition for audiences will only increase as mobile devices make it easier for consumers to obtain the content they desire. We need an efficient method to do this work, and we’ll work with Journatic to help the company improve its practices.
This week, we produced TribLocal from scratch with just a few days notice. I want to thank those of you who made that happen and who will continue to do so in the near term.
Our company must persevere in the competitive hyper-local news space. This has been a difficult and challenging setback for us. We are committed to working through the issues thoroughly and as quickly as