Monday, July 21, 2008

New, Relevant Columnists Needed

As a writer, I know we can be awfully hard on each other sometimes. But we're also the first ones to actually express appreciation for a truly well-written piece, I think, and the first ones to realize just how difficult it may have been to put all the pieces together because, well, we've made the sausage before ourselves. Which is why I can say this: Steve Blow, you just may be a giant ignoramus who violated basic Journalism 101 with your column this week. If what Dallas Councilwoman Angela Hunt says is true, this column is the height of skewed unfairness and smug buffoonery. Not only did you not contact her prior to print, after she took the time to contact you and explain herself, you chose to leave the column as is - both in the print edition and the Web edition, at least, as of 8:45 p.m. You even have the opportunity to make it right in a blog post, but lemme see ... nope. But this is just a drop in the bucket of my discontent with TDMN columnists and opinion writers. My friends and I - all educated, late 20s to mid-30s - frequently talk about the things we like, and the things we detest about the Dallas Morning News. More often than not, the increasingly out-of-touch, irrelevant columnists and opinion writers irk the group. Perhaps there is an audience for people enthralled with the doodads on traffic lights, people frightened by everyone in Dallas (Hi, Rod!) and people who like hard-to-follow babble about DART Man. I don't know. But I do know there's a giant chunk of people out here who are rather disenfranchised by the Metro column offerings of the Dallas Morning News - and these are people who are dedicated readers of the dead-tree version, the kind the TDMN needs. A column or opinion piece that inspires debate is one thing - a column or op-ed piece that inspires disgust or complete disinterest is another.