Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

News Release

Contact: Dirk Johnson, Northern Illinois University
(815) 761-6579

May 29, 2008

Deadline: Will newspapers survive?

NIU will help bring together prominent journalists to answer question

DeKalb, Ill. Northern Illinois University is one of the sponsors of a June 12 panel of prominent Chicago journalists asking the question: Can newspapers survive in the Internet age, with circulation falling and advertising shrinking at almost every big paper in America?

It is hard to imagine life without newspapers. But the bottom line rules. And the question begs: Is print news the horse-and-buggy of the 21st century communications world?

In a rare and candid conference, award-winning Chicago journalists have agreed to sit down and face tough questions about what the newspaper business needs to do to survive.

The program is set for 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 12, at the offices of Mayer Brown LLP, 71 S. Wacker Drive, 33rd Floor. Guests are invited to gather afterward at the Billy Goat tavern, where beer, wine or soda will be compliments of the Northern Illinois Newspaper Association (NINA), one of the partners in the event.

The event is free and open to the public. According to building security policy, people who plan to attend must send an e-mail to Kathy Catranbone at by June 10.

The panelists:

  • Bill Adee, assistant managing editor for innovations for the Chicago Tribune
  • Monroe Anderson, Ebony Jet columnist who formerly worked for Newsweek, the Tribune and WBBM-TV, and served as press secretary for the late Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer
  • Eileen Brown, director of innovations at the Daily Herald
  • Mark Brown, columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times
  • Cindy Dampier, former Chicago bureau chief for People magazine and currently an editor for the Chicago Tribune
  • Tom McNamee, editorial page editor of the Chicago Sun-Times
  • Jim Slonoff, publisher and co-owner of The Hinsdalean

The moderator will be Dirk Johnson, a former bureau chief for The New York Times and Newsweek magazine who teaches journalism at NIU.

Brown, Slonoff and McNamee are NIU alums. The event is also being sponsored by the Chicago Headline Club.

For more information about this event, e-mail Johnson at