In the wake of a New York Times story depicting the Tribune Co. as an ill-managed frat house under the leadership of real estate mogul Sam Zell, Chicago Tribune Editor Gerould Kern sent a memo to staff on Friday "to reinforce the values of our newsroom and the Chicago Tribune Media Group."
Some of you have received inquiries from friends and family around the country, asking if you are safe and treated well. I am very sorry that this has been called into question. It is painful to hear that you've had to answer those questions. The Chicago Tribune and our newsroom always have operated with the highest professional, ethical and moral standards. Everyone who truly knows us understands this to be true.
Poynter Online has the full memo, which echoes those battlefield pep talks you see in movies like Braveheart and Lord of the Rings.
For instance, Kourn commends the staff for standing tall--not retreating--during the company's "most perilous moments."
"In the 163-year history of the Chicago Tribune, no group has confronted more disruption and more uncertainty than you," he wrote. "No group has demonstrated more innovative spirit and driven more transformative change than this one. No one has worked harder to keep journalism alive despite the economic assaults upon it."
History will be the judge of us all, as it is for all men and women. No matter where we go or what we do the rest of our lives, we can look back at this time with pride and the satisfaction that we carried the mission forward despite the challenges and that we stood by each other.
I am honored to be your colleague. I believe that our best days are still ahead.
William Wallace would be proud.