Chicago Tribune combines local editions as Journatic suspension continues

Crain's Chicago Business

The Chicago Tribune has cut the number of its local editions by "about half" since suspending work with journalism-outsourcing company Journatic, Lynne Marek reports. "For instance, coverage of Evanston formerly appeared in a single edition of its own, but is now part of a broader North Shore edition," she writes.



The paper announced in April it was investing in and hiring Journatic to produce its 22 local editions and cutting about 20 jobs from its TribLocal staff.

In June, "This American Life" reported that Journatic employees used fake bylines; in July, the Tribune discovered plagiarism in a Journatic story. It then suspended work with Journatic indefinitely and the Tribune newsroom took over producing local content again. Tribune also brought in former editor Randy Weissman to consult with Journatic on practices and process.

"I believe the changes required to remedy this situation will be profound," Tribune Editor Gerould W. Kern told Poynter in an email.

Last month, Journatic laid off some staffers as its work for Tribune was put on hold and its work for GateHouse and the Sun-Times ended.

Previous coverage: Chicago Tribune staffers: Relationship with Journatic ‘threatens to jeopardize our credibility’ | Journatic memo to staff: ‘DO NOT LIE ABOUT YOUR NAME’ | Journatic founder: ‘Being based in the community is not beneficial’

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.

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