I'll level with you. The most important person I go to meet at "Chicago Live!" is you. Not the famous guests, who are very nice and really interesting. And not "you," plural -- I mean you, personally. I'm sitting here at my desk wondering who you are and what's important to you.
If your name is Lisa Fosler Kelly or Gordon Dymowski, or Tom Kunkel, Beverly Donlon, Dorothy LaPietra, or Phil Renda, you know exactly what I mean, because I met you at "Chicago Live!," and the Chicago Tribune is better for it. When people in the "Chicago Live!" audience talk with me about Chicago, the Tribune, Printers Row or "Chicago Live!," that feedback is less than 24 hours away from the Tribune reporter or editor who needs to know about it. If you've attended "Chicago Live!," you've probably seen me moving through the house, talking, the last guy to sit down when the music starts.
As the Trib Nation manager, that's my job at "Chicago Live!": To be a warm pair of ears for what grabs you about life in Chicago and how we cover it.
Trib Nation was created to build a bridge between our readers and the newsroom at the Chicago Tribune -- the beating heart of that great, unassailable neo-Gothic pile beside the Chicago River. We created a newsroom blog at TribNation.com to throw open a door to your questions. We try to fill you in on how we cover stories and why we do things the way we do. And you made it clear that you wanted the Tribune to have a human face. That idea is at the center of our Trib Nation events.
In case you haven't visited the others, they're all great: Press Pass takes you behind the scenes. Printers Row Live lets you meet and talk with important authors. Chicago Forward forums bring important issues to the fore and let you meet our sources. Trib U events help you improve your life.
"Chicago Live!" is the newspaper brought to life. The crew of journalists that produces it take the serendipity of what you find in our printed pages -- news, ideas, art, performances -- and put it on stage. The Second City glues it together with smart laughter.
And I make sure the Chicago Tribune knows what you want to know, and whether you're getting enough of it from us. So button-hole me at the next Chicago Live!, would you? I've been looking forward to meeting you.
-- James Janega, Trib Nation managerCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun