The Chicago Sun-Times
But for how long? Sometimes street, often silly, intermittently scrappy, filled with youngish reporters ready to make a name for themselves, or at least investigate the manner of hangovers their predecessors revised on deadlines on a daily basis while toiling at typewriters in the barge-like building along the Chicago River that’s now the sub-basement of the Trump Tower. The Chicago Sun-Times persists even as Wrapports LLC, its holding company, peels off a cortege of diminished suburban dailies and weeklies, letting the newly reduced print-only TribCo continue the triage. Failed experiments in business and social coverage are quickly cast aside under publisher-editor-in-chief Jim Kirk’s reign, but a newly redesigned, fresh-faced web presence and successes like the Homicide Watch Chicago website (also on Twitter as @chicagohomicide) show an admirable local focus, and even micro-focus. (“Mark every death. Remember every victim. Follow every case.”) And the still-feisty political coverage provides a fistful of punchy front pages each week. Of course, this could all just be preparation for a rumored reduction to a web-only play, akin to the fate of the print edition of Time Out Chicago, which could reduce the storied tabloid to another DNAInfoChicago. Worse are the late October developments leading up to the November election, in which the newspaper allowed interference in its news-gathering by the campaign of former co-owner Bruce Rauner, leading to the resignation of Sun-Times political reporter Dave McKinney, the paper’s Springfield bureau chief. “I’m faced with a difficult decision due to the disturbing developments I’ve experienced in the last two weeks that cannot be reconciled with this newspaper’s storied commitment to journalism,” McKinney wrote in a letter to the paper’s chairman, Michael Ferro. “The Sun-Times is stocked with dedicated reporters, editors and columnists, who work every day with integrity, long hours and not enough pay. They are more than colleagues. They are my friends. They are my family. They are the soul of the Sun-Times… I’m convinced this newspaper no longer has the backs of reporters like me.” And only a few days prior, the editorial page, which recently bowed out of making any kind of political endorsements, issued a single kudo for this election: Bruce Rauner.
Audience Choice: Chicago Tribune
Best of Chicago 2014