July 1, 2009

Take the [hey...] train

The other day, I cracked Tribune for its use of standardized features. Since the Sam Zell takover, Tribune has increased the number of features produced in Chicago and shipped nationwide to be printed wholesale in sundry locations. Not just the stories. Art and page layout packages are routinely pre-fabricated for use by all Tribune papers.

I must admit, this isn't entirely a bad thing. Any national news organization does this to some extent. If the same story needs to be told in 40 cities, there's no reason to send 40 reporters to do the same thing 40 times. (Before 2012, someone please explain this to the local TV stations, or they will once again each send a reporter to cover the Olympics. Which, last time I checked, Bob Costas et al did quite competently.)

So packaged national content isn't wholly objectionable. But some effort must be made to make it locally relevant. Or at least, not locally irrelevant. But our local daily ran one such feature on the topic of incorporating more physical activity into your daily routine. One suggestion was to use the stairs instead of the escalator at the station when taking the commuter train to work.

Orlando, as you may know, has no commuter train.

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