At the opening curtain of the second Chicago Live! on October 21, emcee Kogan took the stage, tie loosened and shirtsleeves rolled precisely once up his forearms. Kogan looked like what he is: a Chicago newspaper guy. Just like his dad, a renowned Sun-Times reporter.

Obviously brimming with the same emotions many in the Trib newsroom were feeling about getting their paper back from what they considered to be a troop of buffoons, Kogan made an impassioned case for newspaper journalism as a foundation for civic discourse and modern democracy.

“All I’ve done in my life is work for newspapers,” he told the crowd. “I will tell you now, in the same way I could have when I was sixteen, that the Chicago Tribune, as was the Sun-Times when I worked there, as was the Daily News when I worked there—these things are what they have always been.” He paused. “A daily miracle.”

Crickets. Maybe one person clapped.

“Okay,” Kogan quipped. “One newspaper reader in the crowd.” 

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Tim Townsend is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.