The Chicago Tribune should own Chicago history

Do a search for “1968 democratic convention” on google. The Chicago Tribune does not show up on the first page of the results. There is an entry for the Orlando Sentinel, a Tribune owned paper, but not Chicago.

The Chicago Tribune should own Chicago history. I think it is time they opened up the archives and put a stake in the ground regarding their place as the paper of record for the City of Chicago.

Think about how this could work. They could create topic pages around the major events that have taken place and had an impact on the city and the nation such as the 1968 Democratic Convention. This topic should be the #1 entry in Google, not Wikipedia’s.

A visitor would be able to do a deep dive on the coverage produced by the paper from the event. They could also view photographs, video from WGN or other local tv stations, audio from radio reports, etc.

Why not let users upload content that they have from the event or on a broader level let them upload content that would add to the online historical record of the city of Chicago. I have seen this done on a few shows on WTTW, the local PBS station here and it is fascinating. Snapshots of what a suburb looked like in the 1950’s now becomes part of the stream of content that makes up the historical record.

How about letting them upload their own audio recollections about the event a la Story Corps?

I know there is revenue derived from the current archive pay-walls, but my guess is that if this is done right, even with minimal SEO efforts, you could build up significant traffic to offset any revenue lost from opening up the pay-wall. Sports Illustrated had done a nice job of this with the SI Vault.