It's been a busy week for the Tribune Co. On Sunday, the flagship paper of the Tribune Co. fleet, the Los Angeles Times, was beaten in its own newsroom when the Wall Street Journal broke the story of the termination of LA Times Managing Editor Jim O'Shea.
Then, after repeating his determination to decentralize Tribune Co decisions, Sam Zell stepped into local tech policy at his properties, removing all filters from the company's computers. In his third "Talk to Sam" e-mail to employees of the company, he said, "I don't see how a member of the Fourth Estate, dedicated to protecting the First Amendment, can censor what its own employees see."
Here is the full text of Sam Zell's e-mail about Internet filtering:
From: Talk to Sam
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 9:03 AM
Subject: Censorship, the First Amendment and the Fourth Estate
I learned on the first leg of our tour of Tribune's business units that some of them were filtering Internet content. I do not see how a member of the Fourth Estate, dedicated to protecting the First Amendment, can censor what its own employees and partners can see. I have instructed that all content filters be removed. You are now exposed to the dangers of You Tube and Facebook. Please use your best judgment. Let's focus on what is important, and go for greatness.