Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Chicago reporter latest journalist to join Obama

Chicago Tribune Washington correspondent Jill Zuckman is the latest of several high-profile journalists and the second Tribune reporter to join the Obama administration.

Zuckman, also a familiar face on cable news, is leaving the paper to work as director of public affairs for Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, an Illinois Republican.

Her departure highlights the tough financial times newspapers are experiencing — the Tribune’s Washington bureau recently cut several staffers in layoffs. But it also underscores the sometimes uncomfortably close relationship between the press and the government.

“It seems like [the Obama administration] is the cool place to work these days,” said Jonah Goldberg, a conservative columnist syndicated by Tribune and a former media critic. “When you combine that with the terrifying state of the newspaper industry, you can’t blame people for trying to get out.”

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