Since the Dallas Morning News spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trumpeting its “expanded local coverage,” we have been watching the results with–prepare for word dripping with sarcasm–astonishment. You see, it just keeps getting smaller every week, very much like the paper’s circulation numbers. Silly us. We thought DMN was investing in local coverage to help build circulation and create value; instead, they’ve done something considerably smarter. They conjured up the “illusion” of expansion (much, much cheaper) while cutting back on actual reporting. And with “Neighbors,” they have made everyone who ever worked in a newsroom proud by elevating the press release to “journalism.”
Today, the Park Cities local coverage “expanded” to zero. There’s a short feature on a woman from New York who now does archiving at SMU, but nary a word about the 35,000 residents who somehow manage to make news all over the country but not in their own daily paper. The Calendar items are about SMU, the “Good Kid” doesn’t live in the community (are there no “good kids” here?), and the “Area Briefs” are from Grand Prairie and UNT. Memo to Kristen Holland, the Park Cities beat reporter: the writing is on the wall, girl. Remember, we’re here for you.