Friday, February 23, 2024 Feb 23, 2024
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Observer Editor Heads to Reddit to Defend Paper

By Bradford Pearson |

Last night, after returning from our fantastic election night party at the Granada, I stumbled onto Reddit and saw this post titled “Dallas Observer- WTF Happened”:

I understand that I’m bitching about what is essentially a free service/news source/whatever, but man the Dallas Observer needs to get their sh*t together. Ever since Village Voice Media split, I feel like the Observer’s website has been on a steady decline, starting with replacing disqus with the infinitely sh*tty Livefyre and and a new focus on obnoxious ads (on their site, and in their content.) Wilonsky’s gone to the DMN, Pete Freedman’s CentralTrack is kicking their ass in terms of content (their mobile site still sucks, unfortunately)…it’s driving me nuts. a big city like Dallas NEEDS alternative news sources from their dominant daily newspaper, and I feel like the Observer is kinda losing it lately. Now their site is riddled with 330 errors? ugh. What’s going on?

This is typical. Reddit can be a wonderful resource, but it can also be just a drainage ditch of filth. I was ready to toss it into that pile. Then Observer editor Joe Tone showed up:

This is Joe Tone, editor of the Observer. Sorry about the errors today. We had some server issues. They should be resolved now.

As for everything else:

The split from VVM hasn’t even happened yet, so whatever you’re seeing has nothing to do with that. It goes through January 1 I think; I doubt you’ll notice a difference.

We got a lot of complaints about Disqus, and were hoping Livefyre would be an upgrade; so far it hasn’t been. We’ll either get it fixed or get a new system.

Wilonsky’s departure obviously hurt. We tried to keep him, but Belo’s got Belo money. I think Eric Nicholson’s doing a great job on Unfair Park, mixing it up, breaking news, having fun. Those are tough shoes to fill, but he’s on his way.

I’d beg to differ on music stuff; I think Audra is doing really interesting coverage of the scene, and her showcase lineup for Deep Ellum this weekend is remarkably fun and diverse. Traffic to her blog and votes on our music awards seem to agree with me. But if Central Track is drawing you away, that’s good for everyone. Competition breeds quality.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and for taking time to voice your concern.


Could’ve ended there, but it didn’t. Tone answered questions for a few hours, defending his paper when necessary and admitting fault when it was due. Then he returned this morning to chat some more. Well done, Joe.

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