After 2-3 weeks of relentless hype by Dallas Morning News about their new “Neighbors” section, we were all excited to see what the first issue would bring. Except that we didn’t get it. We got North Dallas “Neighbors” instead, which had stories from Turtle Creek to Coppell. Once again, DMN has a little trouble with the concept of accuracy and truthfulness in its definitions: most dictionaries define ‘neighbor’ as “one who is close at hand, near, adjacent.” DMN defines it as someone who lives 14 miles away, in a different school district, with different police, fire, and other city services. How about we re-name the section to “Advertising Clusters.” Not as sweet, but at least it’s honest.
On Sunday, I found a copy of Park Cities Neighbors in the gutter by a house in Preston Hollow. Since the house was under construction and empty [advertisers, are you getting this?], I decided to open it and take a look. Lots of what DMN calls “citizen journalism,” including press releases straight from the corporate pipeline. At least 40 percent of the items weren’t from Park Cities at all. I thought of how often readers scream at us when we let non-endemic news slip into their community’s edition. Either the phones are ringing off the wall at DMN, or, after this oafish debut, they aren’t ringing at all.