Last weekend, columnist James Ragland was arrested for domestic assault.
The Dallas Morning News suspended Ragland's column, and reassigned him to the Collin County bureau to general reporting pending his criminal charges.
The Dallas Morning News does not think that a writer charged with wife hitting should publish a Dallas column. But the Dallas Morning News does believe that Ragland will fit in Collin County well. (perhaps he would fit it better in Afghanistan)
The editor of the DMN was quoted in an article,
Say what! The DMN sees Collin County as exile in Coventry.
Dallas Morning News loves the revenue from this county, but they simply under report Collin County.
For example, look at the DMN's community page for Collin:
- The page lists "Collin County Stories" - the latest story is a week old, and the last one is almost 1 month old.
- The page lists the "Allen Blog". The last post on it was written last June!
- The "McKinney Blog" was not been updates since last July.
- The DMN has not reported the District Clerk's trial since Monday.
Since the Dallas Morning News lay-off last summer, the DMN has deeply cut the Collin bureau to a skeleton crew.
DMN has several great reporters; Valerie Wigglesworth, Theodore Kim, and Jessica Meyers. They have tried, with a couple of younger of reporters, cover an area of 886 square miles with almost 800,000 residents.
The DMN reports,
A few weeks ago, I got into a rather heated debate with a local journalist when I made the statement there was no such thing as unbiased journalism.
The reported took offense at my statement, and basically told me that the journalism school she went to taught that reporters could be, and should be absolutely objective.
The other night, I wrote a story about Ada Betty Cuadros-Fernandez, a Peruvian immigrant nanny convicted of capital murder in the death of a 14 month old boy in her charge.
Her trial was covered extensively not only here in Collin county, but also in Peru. One aspect of the disparate coverage in both nations were the images of Ms. Ada Cuadros-Fernandez.
Which one of these ladies looks like the murderer?
The Dallas Morning News' Theodore Kim has been covering a couple of items relating to financing the May City Council election races.
Great work Mr. Kim
There's reason to hope so.
The DMN this week unveiled several local blogs and community pages that promise a more 21st century coverage of Big D's northern suburbs.
Here's the post from the Plano blog:
Chopping down an email tree: Message irks Plano Councilman
11:00 AM Wed, May 06, 2009
For more evidence of the wildfire nature of YouTube and email, look no further than Plano. The powerful web tools have helped spark a testy dispute between City Councilman Harry LaRosiliere and former Collin County Commissioner Phyllis Cole.
At issue is a YouTube video clip of LaRosiliere addressing a group of local Muslim residents at a political event last year. It was a typical fundraiser from the looks of it, with LaRosiliere gladhanding would-be supporters for votes and money during his 2008 reelection campaign.
But the clip has since reemerged in political circles and, in recent days, touched off at least one email criticizing the councilman for the meeting.
"...is this someone I want to someday be mayor of Plano?" one emailer wrote about LaRosiliere, who is known to have mayoral ambitions. The message was signed by a "Proud Mother of two (outstanding) Marines."
The email eventually reached the inbox of Cole, who forwarded it to a number of top local politicos, including the mayors of Plano and Frisco.
On the jump, read a portion of LaRosiliere's email response...
» Continue reading: Chopping down an email tree: Message irks Plano Councilman
So far, and I know its still too early to make a judgment, the articles have been interesting and the blog posts thoughtful. I hope the editors can keep the posts cutting edge and investigative and not retreat into the comfort zone of covering only high school sports.
The DMN has been creating a whole new approach (at least for them) to online news. The paper has recently added an excellent Transportation Blog that I read daily.
Their commitment to online reporting came as something of a surprise given that the News just went through a major lay-off of reporting staff.
Check out the new pages online, and let the DMN know what you think. If the News really starts covering Collin County in a meaningful way, perhaps I can finally spend my free time fishing.
American Community Newspapers Inc., which operates the Plano Star Courier and other small newspapers in Dallas and three other major U.S. markets, has filed for bankruptcy protection, citing "an unprecedented and severe decline in advertising revenue."
The company filed its Chapter 11 petition Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, becoming the sixth publisher of daily newspapers to file for bankruptcy protection.
The company said its secured creditors will provide a $5 million debtor-in-possession credit facility. In its filing, the company lists assets in the range of $50 million to $100 million and debts totaling about $107 million.
The Dallas-based newspaper group has 86 newspapers, including three dailies, and 14 niche publications in the Dallas; Minneapolis; Columbus, Ohio; and Northern Virginia areas. According to the filing, the chain has a combined circulation of about 1.3 million and earned $63.8 million in revenue in fiscal year 2008.
The company said in a news release that it planned to continue normal business operations.
"Our readers and advertisers are our most important assets, and we are committed to providing them with outstanding service in the months and years ahead," said Chairman and Chief Executive Gene Carr.
In the filing, the company said it stopped making quarterly debt payments in September and was running out of cash "without any prospect of obtaining additional funding."
The filing indicated that ACN planned to sell its assets, without providing additional details. A company spokesman didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment.