Readers commend Daily Herald for what it’s not doing
Robservations on the media beat:
- Readers are applauding the Daily Herald for its unusual treatment in covering the theater shootings in Aurora, Colorado. Mirroring its coverage of school shootings, the suburban daily is going out of its way to avoid “making a celebrity” out of suspect James Holmes. In an explanation to readers last week, editor John Lampinen wrote: “We have printed the suspect’s name. We will do so again. He is accused of a crime. His name is an essential part of the case. But we will avoid using it any more than we have to. In stories where his name is relevant, we will use it once but not repeatedly. In stories where his name is not essential — stories of the victims, for example — we will not use it at all.” Lampinen told me he’s been overwhelmed by the response, which has been almost entirely positive. “One said we were naive. One wanted us to do more on the crime suspect's political background. All the rest thanked us — many effusively — for our restraint,” he said.
- Lourdes Duarte, who co-anchors WGN-Channel 9’s 5pm weekday newscast, will host a daily half-hour wrap-up show on the Drew Peterson trial for CLTV, the Tribune Co.-owned cable news channel. Starting Tuesday and running through the duration of the legal proceedings, The Drew Peterson Trial will air at 7pm weekdays on CLTV. The daily special will feature analysis from in-studio experts and calls from viewers. Peterson, the former Bolingbrook police sergeant, is charged with the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
- It’s hail and farewell to Jeff Goldblatt, the former Fox News Channel correspondent and Fox Chicago news anchor who most recently was a per-diem reporter and fill-in anchor at NBC 5. He’s leaving to become a main anchor outside of Chicago. “Jeff has been a big help over the last two years working on a part-time basis,” Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news, told staffers in a memo. “Along the way he has broken several stories for NBC 5. We thank him for all he’s done.” In his own note to colleagues, Goldblatt wrote: “This is a tremendously talented newsroom, and it was an unmitigated privilege to roll up my sleeves with you.” His last day on the air here was Friday.
- Jan Jeffcoat also bid Chicago goodbye Friday after five years as a news anchor at Fox Chicago. Jeffcoat, whose contract was not renewed, originally was hired to replace Tamron Hall as co-host of the station’s Good Day Chicago, but later was shifted to anchoring the noon news. Starting this fall, she’s expected to turn up as host of The List, a syndicated entertainment news show. “Chicago, I love you and thank you for giving me the honor of inviting me into your home each day,” she wrote on her Facebook page.
- Chicago Tribune staffers are wondering what’s next for literary editor Elizabeth Taylor, a 16-year veteran who had been overseeing Printers Row Journal since its launch last February. Deputy editor Jennifer Day last week was promoted to editor of the subscription weekly, which features author profiles and book reviews. “Elizabeth is instrumental in drawing top names to our Printers Row Live events, in connecting with our readership and with the Chicago literary community, and in indentifying young and promising talent across the Midwest,” national content editor Colin McMahon wrote in a memo. But will that be enough for Taylor?