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The [Monday] Papers

1. Bruce Springsteen Offers Free Download Of Chicago Concert.

2. Nearly Half Of Young Black Men In Chicago Are Jobless And Not In School.

3. Rare Panhandler Jury Trial Starts In Federal Court In Chicago.

4. Bill Daley Thinks Chicago Needs More Surveillance.

5. How Bernie Sanders Made Burlington Affordable.

6. Andrew Dice Trump.

Rated "F" for Funny.

7. The Beachwood Radio Hour #71: Hotel Illinois.

Hear Bruce Rauner's mission bell. Plus: Glenn Frey vs. David Bowie; Democrats Own Flint Too; and How Glam And Punk Enabled Reagan.

8. Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter!

Once again showing us the difference between what the media says and the truth - all in the name of "objectivity."


If you do your reporting deeply enough, you can write/speak with authority - that's objectivity, because the facts are incontrovertible. Some people mistake that, though, for subjectivity.

When a local magazine editor told me once that "In magazine writing, you can have an opinion, that's what I teach my students," as if I'd never heard that before, I blanched. No, it's not about having an opinion! It's about reporting deeply enough to state the truth!

In newspaper writing, the problem is of a slightly different sort - without the time or resources to report deeply enough, reporters (and their editors) fall back on the formulas of objectivity that aren't objective at all, but instead just catalog the unvetted claims and outright lies of everyone quoted in a story. That's probably worse than simply writing an opinion because it's disguised as truth when it's the least truthy version of journalism of all.

The lack of time and resources is not an excuse, either; it can be done nonetheless. It just takes skill, hard work and a certain mindset. (It's even easier in the digital world than in print, with the ease of search, the availability of video and the tool of linking.)


That magazine editor, by the way, didn't so much as want me to have an opinion, but to have his opinion, which, typical for him, wasn't a very good one. I stopped working for him, and I don't mean my old boss at Chicago magazine.


I use to call my version of magazine writing a "reported conclusion," which my old boss liked very much. The only problem was getting an assignment with a pre-determined conclusion, which invalidates the whole premise of the job, and which is hugely common in the newspaper world as well. It's never served my career to come to an independent, reporting-based conclusion instead of the one an editor has dreamed up ahead of time. They tend not to like when you bring them real-world results different than what they pre-determined what you should bring them. In other words, it's hazardous to your job to actually do your job the way it's supposed to be done.

Now, having a notion, an angle, a thesis going into a story is fine. Sometimes that's how you start. Sometimes you have a basis for such a thing. But that doesn't mean that's how you have to end. (Which is why I shy away from pitching stories to ideologically driven publications. So I don't fit into mainstream journalistic culture and I don't fit into alternative journalism culture, which leaves me . . . here. Where is journalism practiced? It's like alt-country artists being too country for Nashville; some of us are too journalism for journalism.)

Note: I slightly edited/tweaked the last two paragraphs of this item on Jan. 25, 2021.

9. The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #86: Like Bon Jovi, Bulls Halfway There.

Plus: Blackhawks Have Only Won 123 Of Last 135; Riverboat Ron Has Last Laugh; and John Baker Way Better Than Dusty Baker.

10. The Weekend In Chicago Rock.

Featuring: Seet, Squared Off, Oh Wonder, Black Sabbath, Tedeschi Trucks, Rakunk, Tortoise, Deniece Williams, and Michael McDermott.



Democrats would never knowingly ... er, ahem ...

Posted by The Beachwood Reporter on Sunday, January 24, 2016



A sampling.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Curds and whey.


Posted on January 25, 2016

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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