Chicago Tribune news : Local news, weather, ETC.

See Trib, see Trib web page.  Top story is “Must-see machines” by auto writer Jim Mateja:

Have time for only the Cliffs Notes version of the Chicago Auto Show? Here's a look at the Top 10 -- plus one.

In adjoining column, under an axident update, is the day’s degenerate celebrity, dead on arrival at Fla. hospital:

Anna Nicole's mother blames drugs
Why her death had us talking
Photos | Video
• Watcher:
Anna Nicole's baby
• Pop Machine:
A tragic turn
• Tell us:
Anna Nicole guest book

This is the Marshall Field & Co. system: Give the people what they want — hardly original in either context, retail store or newspapering. 

No problem: the web is where you go for the latest and the grabber.  You are on the go and want to be in the know.  Does the super-web-news source Drudge give you thumb-suckers for mulling over coffee?  Not on your screaming head or arresting graphic of Mars light flashing and turning.

Ah, but today’s Chi Trib hard-copy — what far more people read — has a HEALTH story for its main head: “Should age determine who gets a kidney transplant?”  This is its typography.  All caps?  Forget it.  Subhead: “Controversial proposal would put younger patients higher on waiting list.”  Gasp.

You can discover this at the site because Chi Trib has hard copy there for the day plus previous six days.  (Sun-Times does not, more’s the pity.) 

Below the fold is “Flexing their brainpower: Academic Decathlon stars bring honor to a struggling high school,” under big pic of black kids hugging each other in joy of academic competition.  Can’t say enough for this story, in a time of black athletes dominating most sports.  With all respect to these kids, it’s truly a man-bites-dog story. 

Where it goes on the web site — 10th place, just below TV’s Russert grilled in Libby trial — is another question.  Same for the kidney transplant item — just above the Russert-Libby story.

When I spoke the other day about my newspaper reading addiction, a writer-reader confessed to the same, but on-line, not hard copy.  It’s easier to find what you want online, to be sure, reading on the go, say on your notebook-laptop on the Green Line heading to work.  (Oh? How many do that?)  So NYTimes publisher may leave hard copy behind, he says. 

"I really don't know whether we'll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don't care either," said [”Punch”] Sulzberger at Davos’ World Economic Forum.

"The Internet is a wonderful place to be, and we're leading there."

Meanwhile, today’s Chi Trib grabber for the real-life Green Line rider or muller-over-coffee is who gets the kidney, young sprout or old coot.  That’s the question for the day.  Or is the question how many will bother to read and/or mull?

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