I currently write a column each Tuesday for the DeKalb
Daily Chronicle. The column will also appear on this website
each week and be added to the archives.
The Articles started December 2007.
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Daily Chronicle editor discusses the 'news information' business
By Barry Schrader.................................February
decades, and their McHenry, Woodstock, Harvard, Marengo
and Free Press Newspapers were merged into the daily Northwest
Herald, their flagship paper today. More papers in northern Illinois
were added over the years, with the latest purchase in 2007 being
the DeKalb County papers.
The Daily Chronicles editor visited the Oak Crest retirement
center last week to meet some of his subscribers and explain
a bit about the newspaper business.
Schaumburg, who arrived at his job in DeKalb on Nov. 9, started
with a brief history of Shaw Newspapers, which now owns the Daily
Chronicle, The Midweek and the Valley Free Press, all in DeKalb
Benjamin F. Shaw started the 158 years
of his familys newspaper holdings in 1851 when he became
owner and editor of the Dixon Telegraph and Herald. In the early
1940s, the Shaws purchased two papers in Iowa, plus the Woodstock
Sentinel and McHenry Plaindealer. Other papers were added in
Daily Chronicle editor Jason Schaumburg appears at the
Oak Crest retirement center. (Barry Schrader Photo)
Schaumburg also shared
the story of his path in newspapering, graduating from Northern
Illinois University in 1997, then joining the Northwest Herald
in Crystal Lake in the sports department. He decided to try journalism
out west in 1999, taking a sports page designer position with
a paper near Phoenix. But that lasted only eight months, and
he found himself back at the Herald, this time as assistant sports
editor, moving up to sports editor in 2001. He eventually moved
into news management and decided to come to DeKalb late last
year, where he would oversee the entire editorial department.
He also announced that City Editor Kate Schott was just promoted
to News Editor and will run the newsroom in his absence. She
now has responsibility for assigning the staff of four reporters
and two photographers in coordinating coverage of the county.
Talking about their online efforts, Schaumburg said
the Associated Press Sports Editors organization has ranked the
Daily Chronicles HuskieWire.com one of the top 10 sports
Web sites in the country for sites with fewer than 1 million
Asked about his philosophy of
choosing stories for the front page each day, he said he selects
four of the most significant stories, three of them local and
one from the wire services, but says it must have a local tie
in or be of such significance that it attracts local interest.
Responding to another question about their use of
the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which permits the public
to seek information from government agencies even when they try
to withhold the information, the editor said they use it as often
as needed and pointed to one recent example where they filed
a FOIA request with the City of DeKalb, which had denied them
the names of aldermanic candidates after one had been chosen
to fill a vacancy on the council. At times, the paper might even
resort to legal action when it seems the effort is worth it,
he pointed out.
Schaumburg explained that since
he did not arrive until the middle of the primary election campaign
the paper would not be endorsing candidates in the primaries,
but they are taking positions on ballot measures in some instances.
He also discussed the fact that it is not just the
newspaper business anymore but the news information business,
an evolving industry now because of the rapidly changing technology.
There is such a big divide between readers
habits, depending what age you are, he said, so to prosper,
the print media must change with the times.
The columnist can be reached via email at :
or by snailmail at:
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115