This seems like a bad idea. The Dallas Morning News has decided that editors and writers are no longer needed to write events listings. Ellen Sackett put out the call on the Eats blog for dining events, but the new process works for everything — music, theater, you name it. The staff that works on the Guide section of the paper will no longer write any of the events listings. YOU get to write them. I’ve just changed my mind. This isn’t a bad idea. This is a colossally stupid idea hatched by cheapskates.
Listen, putting together a good events database is difficult work. That’s why the Observer has actual hard-working professional writers who write and edit the thing. That’s why our own Liz Johnstone will probably one day soon lose her mind and be found frothing at the mouth, running naked through the Arts District, shouting, “You PR people, stop sending me your emails in triplicate, demanding that your scrapbooking meetup be listed in our events section!” Not only does everything need to be spelled right and written concisely and knowledgeably, but it needs to be curated. Events listings ought to have a voice and a point of view.
If you let just anyone log in and enter information, you’ll get that information for free. But you get what you pay for. It will be interesting to watch the dreck take over the listings on GuideLive.com and in the Guide. The only reason to read them will be to try to spot the inevitable hoax listings.
After the jump, here’s the email received by one restaurateur after she entered her event. It explains the latest process the News has put in place to degrade its product.
CORRECTION (4:29, 10/18/12) – Ann Pinson, editor of the Guide section, emailed me to say: “We’ve been asking organizers to enter their events in advance on GuideLive.com for years. Listings published in the Guide section are chosen, written and fact-checked by our writers and editors, just as they always have been.” I pointed out to her that the email (after the jump) sent from the paper says, “The Guide staff will no longer be entering any events, and it will greatly help your chances of being listed if you start entering your events immediately.” I asked her to explain this discrepancy. She wrote back, “[W]e are not hand-entering events from press releases onto the website.” But, again, according to the email from the paper, “Guide … will rely on GuideLive.com as the source of listings published in the newspaper,” and the only way to get your event on GuideLive.com is if YOU hand-enter it. So that’s clear.
To be considered for a listing in the print Guide section, events must be entered by organizers or publicists in the GuideLive.com database two weeks in advance of the date of the section. See the letter below for more info. The Guide staff will no longer be entering any events, and it will greatly help your chances of being listed if you start entering your events immediately. You can enter one event, or a full season of events. If you have questions about the new system or want to send additional materials (such as full releases or photographs) in addition to posting your event online, e-mail us at email@example.com.
The Dallas Morning News has improved GuideLive.com so that the site is a one-stop, comprehensive, searchable source of information on current movies, local entertainment venues, local restaurants, local performers and community events.
These improvements make GuideLive.com more accessible to you. Our new system lets users
Enter an event in seconds.
Use a simple, Web-based tool to guarantee your event reaches us on time.
Complete one form as a new, easier way to get your listing in print and online
Starting immediately, we invite you to add your event listing by visiting GuideLive.com. To enter an event, You’ll be required to register, but it’s free and fast. New users will need to register for GuideLive.com. If you’re already registered with Dallasnews.com, simply log in to GuideLive.com using that same username and password.
Please check first to see if your event has already been entered. If your event exists in the system, follow the given instructions on how to edit the event. If not, click “Add a Listing” at the top center of the home page. Enter your information. Please fill out the form completely and include price and phone numbers. It is also VERY important to choose a category such as “Performing Arts” or “Music,” as this is what lets us find your listing to consider it for inclusion in the print Guide.
If you need further help, please refer to the Help/FAQ section in the lower left-hand corner on the GuideLive.com.
We’ll be notified of your submission. As soon as we approve it, your event listing will be published online.
Guide, which prints Friday in The Dallas Morning News, also will rely on GuideLive.com as the source of listings published in the newspaper. To make your event eligible for printing in Fridays’ Guide, please enter your event on GuideLive.com at least two weeks in advance.