Chicago Tribune columnist on tour through SE Asia

Friday 20 March, 2009

Apparently Chicago Tribune business columnist David Greising was sent on a tour to SouthEast Asia sponsored by the East West Center of Hawaii.  He contributed these stories:

1st of all, all hail when the Chicago Tribune devotes an article to international business.  They seem to be few & far between these days.  2ndly hail sending David Greising to write about these issues, because he seems to be the only writer there who has a grasp for much of anything going on outside of Chicago.  He even quoted a local executive of a Chicag0-based firm, which is exactly the tack he should be taking with these kinds of things.  But I guess that’s the reason I’m writing this article.  He didn’t do enough of this.

He visited 3 countries, Indonesia, Singapore, & Thailand, & as a columnist for the Chicago Tribune only spoke with 1 representative from a Chicago-based company, & didn’t even make that the focus of the article.  We got decent summaries of what’s happening in those countries, but we can get those many other places.  He interspersed a couple of human-interest vignettes, which are always interesting & enlighten the picture, but again available elsewhere.  I didn’t read anything new.  He added nothing that I couldn’t get somewhere else.

Maybe he’s syndicated elsewhere & thus shouldn’t focus just on Chicago.  Maybe his handlers wouldn’t allow him  to contact employees of Chicago-based companies.  Maybe he was just to damn tired or didn’t have the time to get this together.

Regardless, if he’s going to fly all that way, I would have expected more.  Chicago has a number of very global companies that are doing significant volumes of international business.  We hear very little about the world-wide aspects of their businesses.  David had a chance to learn & report on what Midwest-based companies are doing in a very interesting part of the world.  It appears as if he or his editors dropped the ball.  This trips seems to have been an opportunity foregone.


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