Media Moves

Chicago Tribune hires Syed as general assignment reporter

February 3, 2023

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

The following was sent out from The Chicago Tribune:

Zareen Syed (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune)

The Chicago Tribune is thrilled to announce that Zareen Syed has joined the Chicago Tribune as a general assignment reporter with a focus on education. She began her new role Dec. 12.

You can follow her on Twitter @ZareenSyed and read her work here.

She previously covered the western suburbs of Hinsdale, Oak Brook and Burr Ridge for the Pioneer Press, where she did some prominent reporting on DEI issues at Hinsdale High School District 86, including a story about an anti-racism consultant withdrawing her training proposal, citing hate mail and hostile comments from residents.

She started her career as a production assistant at WGN Ch. 9, and also worked at NBC Sports Chicago and Boston 25 News as a digital news producer. Zareen grew up in the suburbs and holds a journalism degree from Columbia College Chicago.

Though Syed’s hire is a laudable career achievement, the question remains how much she and her reporters are paid in the paper’s new regime. In the wake of the Tribune’s acquisition by vulture capital firm Alden Media, experts say that Alden is likely underpaying its new reporters and those recruited for more senior positions. A mass exodus of Tribune critics and staff writers occurred after Alden and its infamous principal Heath Freeman took over the paper for $633 million in 2021.

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