Statement of principles

The Chicago Tribune is a citizen of Chicago, a newspaper committed to inform and lead public opinion, to foster commerce and industry, and to furnish that vital check upon government which no constitution can.

The Tribune believes in the traditional principles of limited government; maximum individual responsibility; and minimum restriction of personal liberty, opportunity and enterprise. It believes in free markets, free will and freedom of expression.

These principles, while traditionally conservative, are guidelines and not reflexive dogmas. The facts and nuances of each issue, and not a forged set of ideological templates, dictate where the newspaper will stand. The Tribune is not blindly or uncritically partisan. No political party should take its support for granted.

The Tribune is committed to Midwestern values and concerns, and brings that sensibility to the public debate. In both its words and its actions, it seeks out true innovation, but is unimpressed by momentary trend and skeptical of untested theory. This has been a basic hallmark of the Tribune throughout its history and continues to guide this newspaper. It encourages constructive change in the light of tradition and the lessons of history. Experience, as well as intellect, is essential to wisdom.

The Tribune places great emphasis on the integrity of government and of the private institutions and individuals who serve and lead society. It acts as a watchdog on government, protecting citizen interests in quarters where citizens themselves might not otherwise be represented. The newspaper does this in the belief that the people cannot consent to be governed unless they have knowledge of, and faith in, the leaders and operations of government. Always, the people are sovereign.

The editorial page has four essential roles: to serve as a check on the power of government, to set an agenda for the Chicago region and the nation, to make persuasive arguments for the enactment of that agenda, and to inform and guide its readers so they can make better decisions.

The Tribune was forged by and vigorously embraces the great diversity of people and perspectives in its community. It is dedicated to the well being and prosperity of Chicago and stands with this city and its people.    

Copyright © 2017, Chicago Tribune
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