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Good News Dallas
by Tom Pauken    Mon, Dec 5, 2005, 01:06 PM

Huntley Paton
Huntley Paton, the publisher of the Dallas Business Journal (DBJ), has an excellent analysis as to why daily newspapers are losing subscribers. Writing in the current issue of DBJ, Paton makes the point that the "daily newspapers fail to focus on what they’re good at – local news – and instead pander to pop culture."

He is particularly tough on the direction the Dallas Morning News is taking as it seeks to "re-package" its newspaper: "too much of the Morning News’ content – and that of other dailies – drives readers away either through clueless attempts to woo people who have no interest in newspapers at all, or by mocking community standards that most of its customers hold dear."

Paton has this to say about bias at the News: "What about bias? Most big dailies are unquestionably liberal, but sometimes the bias is amusing, as when the DMN printed a mock presidential debate between columnists Steve Blow, James Ragland and Jacuielynn Floyd, and all three ‘argued’ from the left side of the political menu. Sometimes the bias is sneeringly smug, as with the DMN’s ceaseless scolding of the 76% of voters who favored a state constitutional marriage amendment (‘mean-spirited’ was the mandatory catchphrase used in umpteen editorials and columns)."

The DBJ Publisher has much more to say about why daily newspapers like the News are losing readers, and he concludes his article on a sobering note: "Unfortunately, today’s dailies have sold their souls to junk culture and moral relativism, and if they don’t turn back, good citizens will necessarily shun them."

You will find Huntley Paton’s thoughtful article on the problems of daily newspapers in the December 2-8 issue of the Dallas Business Journal.

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