Friday, November 10, 2006

BREAKING NEWS (just spend five minutes giving us your personal information and then we'll tell you what happened).

We are fortunate to have this blog, because I do not have any other outlet to address this complaint: Could the Chicago Tribune make it any more difficult to access articles on their website? Last time I checked, the media is supposed to be accessible.

When I log onto the Chicago Tribune website to read a print article, I should be able to click on a link and have that article open immediately. The Chicago Sun-Times website doesn't give me any problems but for some reason that's beyond my comprehension, editors at the Chicago Tribune selectively decide which articles on their website can be accessed by the public and which articles require additional personal information from the visitor.

When I'm trying to catch breaking news, I want to read what's going on immediately! I don't enjoy any additional suspense while I'm trying to get the facts but the Chicago Tribune's website requires a password and a profile just so I can read some story online. That doesn't make any sense. If they're not going to bill me, why do they need all of my personal information?

I'm concerned enough about identity theft and if I'm trying to get local news from online in a public place, I'm not prepared to start shooting off passwords, birth-dates and other personal information just to read an article.

There is also the possibility that the Tribune will give my personal information and email address to some other company I've never heard of just so I can get spammed more than I already do.

Requiring a personal profile from a website visitor to access certain articles while others are a click away, is very annoying. In my opinion, all the Tribune is accomplishing is providing the incentive for visitors to get their news another way, like from a website such as The Chicago Sun-Times or from a local TV station that doesn't require a million steps before presenting a viewer with the information.

Or maybe the Chicago Tribune has a point and I should start requiring passwords, home addresses and phone numbers from people who want to read every 3rd blog I post?



At Saturday, November 11, 2006, Anonymous TD said...

Also, the Chicago Tribune makes it impossible to cancel your newspaper subscription. I have been on the phone ad nauseum trying to cancel it. Even finding the number was impossible on the Trib's website.

Journalism should be easy to read (and not read!).


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