Michael Miner points out that, as the next generation of Chicago journalists prepares for the Chicago Media Future Conference, the Montgomery Burnses of the media got together in Rosemont to fuck up a baked potato.*

James Warren – the same James Warren who donates his time to a billionaire’s media venture which skims substantial bits of other people’s content in order to supplant them as a go-to news homepage – broke the news. Regarding “technology/service to track content on the Web and to extract payments from third-parties and ad networks that have appropriated newspaper content,” he writes:

“Presumably, Google, Yahoo! and any one of thousands of websites could, and should, get mentioned with scant reverence. Perhaps the age of content theft is coming to an end.”

Your moral outrage is noted, silly goose. As much experience in the field as Warren has, I have to admit I’m less inclined to trust him knowing that he’s not just an active and high-profile participant in the same process he views with “scant reverence” and accuses of theft, and is not just aware of the irony, but also seems uninterested in exploring it. If he’s just trying to get in on the ground floor, or wants to change it from within as well as without, that’s defensible, but, y’know, just asking.

So, what’d they say? Who knows, it was firewalled secret. Maybe they decided to try charging for David Brooks columns again. Maybe they can try charging for the report. Alan Mutter and Ben Sheffner discuss whether the meeting could amount to collusion.