Bad Choices at the Chicago Tribune

It wasnt long ago that we told you about some questionable standards at the Chicago Tribune and how the official online biography of the Tribune Companys new media chief used the word “crap” 6 times and quotes him as discussing the “genesis of my crap craft.” It was then we suggested that while Tribune insists that it “value[s] the creative spirit and [is] nurturing a corporate culture that doesn’t take itself too seriously” perhaps it should take its standards a little more seriously.

It has come to our attention that the original article by Michael Hawthorne that we found failed to uphold the standards associated with respected journalism has been relegated to the pay-per-view archive of the Tribune Web site. But his three part series on mercury in seafood from back in 2005 is still available for ready reading on the sites main section. In case you arent familiar with this series weve posted a thorough review of it and found more than a few failings there too.

What caught our attention was the fact that this alarmist, outdated series is available as part of a section called Editors Choices. Other searches on the Tribune site find Pulitzer Prize winning works highlighted with the Editors Choice label. It makes one wonder just what the criteria is for being chosen by the editors.

It should be noted that the very first sponsored link under the editors suggestion to read the Mercury Menace series is an ad that promises to provide readers “The Shocking Truth About Eliminating Mercury You Won’t Find Anywhere Else…” The ad is from a Web site that suggests your very life may be at risk and that its products can help you attain more energy and life force.

When the Tribune is done investigating seafood for the umpteenth time maybe it would be interested in examining the claims and motivations of its own advertisers?