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DMN Hits Perfect Local Pitch

Sunday’s print edition of the Morning News — for those of you who don’t receive it — is about as on-target as a local newspaper can get. For years, I’ve argued that the News needs to ignore national stories that are well-covered everywhere else and go with its strength, which is local, local, local. If I were running the News, I’d pin this morning’s front page to the wall as an example of the kind of execution that could keep a local newspaper relevant for years to come.

Here are the headlines above the fold:

“AA-US Air may be last of big mergers”

“Police pension fund bets big on luxury properties” —

“Parkland built wealth as condition worsen”

“Texas Legislature: Going too far may cost GOP”

Sidebars:

“Dirk’s star status”

“Spring break plans”

“Officers kill fugitive near Grapevine Lake”

As I said, all these are above the fold. Three are about major Dallas institutions (four, if you count Dirk). Well done, ladies and gentlemen. Keep it up.

  • Dubious Brother

    I agree with you on the local emphasis but totally disagree with you when you say “ignore national stories that are well-covered everywhere else” because they are not. I doubt that the DMN has the resources to actually cover the national stories well though.

  • Wylie H Dallas

    Funny, I said the exact same thing to the editors over there years ago. I don’t know anyone anymore who goes to the DMN looking for stories on Apple or the Afghan withdrawal.

    Agree that today’s DMN was outstanding.

  • Adam

    God willing, books will live on. And my personal hope is that the printed version of the Sunday NYT, which sprawls on my kitchen table leisurely oozing unplugged information for several days, if not a full week, will always be of some value. More localized and ephemeral printed materials like newspapers and regional magazines may lope along so long as diehard greybeards are calling the shots, but they’re just staving off the inevitable, for no logical reason. For example, “above the fold” is about as relevant a concept as rotary telephone dialing. At least, it’s not relevant to anyone I know under the age of 45; not only because they get their news not from folded paper but exclusively online, but also because every story of personal value to a particular reader is already, necessarily “above the fold,” because that reader has self-selected his or her own content. Not a directed criticism, just a realistic evaluation. Let the printed newspapers die a dignified death. Move them online before they all become ad-dominated mockeries of genuine journalism. More than already, I mean.

  • Wylie H Dallas

    The “above the fold” thing is a great observation. I never saw today’s printed version, so I was unsure of the stories’ positioning until I read this post(on-line, naturally).

  • JSSS

    The death of newspapers continues to be overblown. As someone under 45, I have to say that nothing beats the sports section for those 5-10 minutes when one is, shall we say, indisposed. I mean, you really don’t want to walk in their with your phone and certainly not your iPad.

  • Kk.

    The DMN ran those teasers in the Metro section for days and days and days – the two blank pages with the “coming soon!!!” more local news, etc. when it finally debuted……..plop. Sachse Elementary is having a bake sale!! Crap that should be in a People newspaper or a HOA newsletter.

    But I agree with Wick, I spent more time reading Sundays front section than I have in a long, long time. More of that, please – and stop wasting paper with that junk in the Metro.

  • Dan Koller

    Unfortunately, the Morning News returned to form with Monday’s front page: three wire stories vs. one staff story, which was at the bottom of the front page. For comparison, today’s Austin American-Statesman has three staff stories and one wire story. And today’s Houston Chronicle has three staff stories and no wire stories.