CHICAGO - News - especially for Illinois conservatives - is often depressing, there's no doubt. But one guy is quietly and effectively bringing good tidings of great joy to local communities: the Republican U.S.Senate candidate that could have stopped Barack Obama in 2004, Jack Ryan.
Rather than be bitter over how the Chicago media brutalized him during that campaign, Ryan's used his resources to set up a media company that is about to overtake the Chicago Sun-Times' reach. The sky's the limit for Ryan's effort, because the people of Illinois are starving for good news.
Chicago media reporter Don Feder writes about the media company Ryan set up eight years ago:
Today Ryan’s 22nd Century Media publishes 12 weekly newspapers and websites mainly in the southwest suburbs and on the North Shore. With the launch in February of a Highland Park edition up in Lake County, the company will reach an estimated 170,000 Chicago area households. That would put it on track to overtake Sun-Times Media as having the second-largest circulation statewide (behind only the Chicago Tribune).
“I’d never really thought about the media business until I ran for office,” Ryan, 54, said in an interview. “But there was a disturbing trend that in an effort to make splashy headlines, too many people were trying to tear people down. I saw this huge opportunity from both a business point of view and a community point of view to get good content out to people.”
Ryan's reporters look for and write good news - and there's plenty of it.
The emphasis on “positive news” may offend some journalists’ sensibilities, but Ryan is unapologetic: “It can’t always be positive because the world doesn’t work that way. But most of the people in [a given community] are trying to do the right things for the right reasons. So we report on that. Now if the mayor is stealing from the till or something like that, of course we will report it. . . . But overall, I see this as a way to correct something that seemed to be going wrong from a media point of view, which is too many people trying to tear people down rather than trying to improve things.”
Maybe a happy ending for one of Illinois' conservatives most tragic political disappointments? Joy to the World!