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News Blog

Trib's Imitation of CW Not Flattering

by Jerre Wroble
Posted // 2012-01-18 -

"There is no new thing under the sun." If I worked for the Trib, I might try to convince you I made that up myself, but most know it as a 2,000-year-old truism from Ecclesiastes.

Since nothing is new under the sun, perhaps we should turn the other cheek and forgive The Salt Lake Tribune its trespasses, for stealing so many of City Weekly's column concepts. Or in the spirit of the Old Testament, perhaps we could arrange to cut off their editors' hands in the public square for such thievery.

Or we could take a 21st-century approach and just blog about it.

A recent appropriation is Civics Central, which resembles City Weekly's Citizen Revolt, a column about civic engagement that we've published for the past three years or so.

Also in recent months, the Trib's Three Questions video attempts to replicate the tone and Q&A concept of our long-running Five Spot.

Previously, the Trib's The Thumb copied City Weekly's popular Hits & Misses; the Trib also subscribed to News of the Weird to match City Weekly's News Quirks. Once we started running Personals in our classifieds, so did the Tribune.

In publishing its "faux" weekly Now in Salt Lake, it could be argued the Trib is trying to steal the alt-weekly concept that is City Weekly. After the Trib woke up from its Rip Van Winkle slumber and realized it needed younger readers to replace those who weren't re-upping their subscriptions, the Trib's weak response is a light-as-air tabloid/Website catering to fashionista- and nightclub-crazed young'uns.

Publications like Now are called "faux" weeklies because they only pretend to be alternative to the mainstream press. Not only does Now not provide a unique voice, it often republishes content that has already appeared in the Trib.

Now in Salt Lake recently rebranded itself as an "edition of The Salt Lake Tribune." At the same time, it rather brazenly got in bed with the Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau to utilize the CVB's listings program on its Website. The CVB is a nonprofit that receives government funding for an event-listings database shared by multiple state and county entities. As part of the partnership, the Tribune/NowSalt Lake's Website now displays the CVB's logo and link on listings for restaurants, clubs and other venues that happen to be members of the CVB.

So, for stories that the Trib publishes reporting on the ZAP tax or the visitors bureau, will the editors now disclose the paper's partnership? These types of alliances -- while nothing new under the sun -- undermine the Trib's claim to be Utah's independent voice.

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REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // January 27,2012 at 15:24

I like City Weekly's content better than In's, but I don't bring either home with me. I've got young girls at home and I don't like the message that either magazine sends to young women about their roles in society. I know y'all do it for the money, but it would be nice if using women as commodities wasn't the best way to fund the paper.

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // January 27,2012 at 14:17

As someone who's worked on a local rag in Salt Lake in the past I was pretty disguisted by what In was trying to do, and where its financial backing was coming from. But, even with it's unabashed pandering to local cool kids and bars it's given good press and business to a lot of my friends. So, unless you can broaden your nightlife approach, I'll still be helping issues of In relocate to the recycle bin.

 

 

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // January 20,2012 at 14:33

In all fairness, Now in SL does a much better job with its club/bar/event photo spreads. I'm hetero, so I like to see attractive women out having fun, smiling and laughing and posing-silly for the camera. It makes you want to go to those clubs if you're going out and the club owners must love that. I eman, they even managed to make The Westerner look fun this week!

 

CW's stuff seems darker, stiffer, moodier; you always seem to show two or three shady-looking, over-tattooed characters, usually all dudes, who are eyeballing the camera like they're considering stealing it and selling it for drugs. Not a very flattering image of club life.

 

Photo spreads of a club should show me a good time, not display all the reasons I should stay away. If you don;t beleive me, look back over the photo spreads.

 

 

 

Posted // January 23,2012 at 09:45 - I sent that guy a note a year ago advising that he might want to make the club scenes he was publishing look 'fun' instead of depressing or threatening. I guess he didn't like my input. And if, after looking at the images, you agree that I have a point, fire that guy, will you? Or reassign him to the Energy Solutions beat.

 

Posted // January 20,2012 at 17:20 - Thanks for the feedback, Bill. Will pass your comments along to our club reviewer.

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // January 19,2012 at 19:07

Variations of these concepts are in virtually every newspaper in the United States. Does City Weekly claim credit for all of them?

 

Some advice: Spend your time creating unique content (not concepts - or blogs about concepts) and you won't have to worry about what the Tribune is doing.

 

 
 
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