A thoughtful FBvian offers his theory. I reply. A conversation for magazine dorks:
Let me preface my comments by first saying that I am a regular to FrontBurner and have enjoyed D Magazine for many years. It’s a great publication for the area and it has obviously found a niche that it serves well. Secondly, I have no affiliation to the DISD.
I think your question regarding why the DISD has not contacted you is a good one for your editorial board to ponder. It could possibly provide some editorial focus for your publication — or at the very least create a conversation internally about what audience D Magazine really serves.
I’m not sure, but I believe the cover story of the November issue was “Where to Shop in Dallas.” It’s my opinion that when you vacillate between the serious and the seriously trivial, that readers don’t know how to consume you. I think given the choice to go in one direction or the other, Wick would chose to follow the money. The money for magazines like D is with the retailers, the doctors that buy the advertorials, the lawyers that do the same.
One could argue that children and their health are universal issues. I think part of the apathy for your story at DISD is related to the perception that there are so many problems there that uncovering one more is not that shocking. It’s unfortunate. I believe it is a serious story that deserves additional investigation.
This FBvian is a wise media consumer. We struggle every month with the “consumption issue.” Reader service (often) sells on the newsstand; journalism pleases subscribers. We neglect either group at our peril. I’m sure it makes us look schizophrenic at times. I know we feel that way some months. At the same time, though, schizophrenia can be fun. City magazines are one of the last places in magazine publishing where you can get away with going from shopping to asbestos. It’s one of the reasons I love my job.
Reader apathy? We talked about that. In fact, Wick argued that we shouldn’t put that asbestos story on the cover precisely because of the point our FBvian makes. I argued for doing it, because it was important. And because I figured concerned DISD parents would rescue us on the newsstand. (We won’t know how this issue did on the newsstand for several months.)
But that’s sales. The question I posed early wasn’t about sales. It was about 3700 Ross. Apathy among newsstand buyers is one thing; non-responsiveness from DISD management is another. Whether people buy the magazine or not, we should have heard from Hinojosa by now. Or from SOMEONE at DISD HQ.