Let Me Sum Up
Why Walk to the Park is good for the city and the Dallas Morning News. Plus:What the frack?
I am as journalistically conflicted as you can be when it comes to Friday’s Walk to the Park event, designed to get people to take a middle stroll and hang out at downtown’s Klyde Warren Park. There they will find local music, food trucks, and Dallas Morning News writers and editors giving talks on their areas of expertise.
The party is the work of Crowdsource, the new event-planning thingie invested in/started by/independent of the DMN. Read this to semi-understand what it is.
Event and marketing arms are vital to the future of media. Why? Because it connects the media and its people with its audience in important ways.
You’ll see it’s run by Alison Draper. She is my old boss at the Dallas Observer, and she was a director at the company for which I worked in Atlanta. Plus she is a friend. Pretty sure I’ll work for her again some day. So take all of this with a grain of salt.
That said, I think Friday’s event is very cool and augurs good things for Dallas.
Event and marketing arms are vital to the future of media. Smaller media have always known this; both the Observer and D Magazine have always been able to, at the very least, throw a helluva party. It’s true in many online-only ventures as well — study the way GigaOm evolved, look at the pics from the huge CultureMap Dallas launch party, etc. Why? Because it connects the media and its people with its audience in important ways.
For much of my time growing up in Dallas, the DMN has been associated with North Dallas and the suburbs as it chased readership, just as D has been associated with the Park Cities and the Observer with Deep Ellum and East Dallas. Using an event to bring the people charged with explaining the city in contact with its audience is the sort of thing that never would have happened 20 years ago.
DMN writers were too arrogant and aloof to consider such things. To build lasting connections moving forward, media must be willing to shake hands and kiss babies.
As well, it promotes simple solutions to complex urban problems. Anti-smart-growth people love to make fun of the hipsterization of America, but unlike my generation, at least the kids today are spending all their time bitching with ironic detachment. They hate the car-centric, air-conditioned life they’ve been given, and they actually rebel against it by not participating. Sure, they do it while wearing ski caps in the summer, but if that’s the price you pay, so be it.
To build lasting connections moving forward, media must be willing to shake hands and kiss babies.
It also, unfortunately, gives wind to those who worry that the paper can turn into a PR machine for its own independent revenue-producing entities, like Crowdsource and Speakeasy. The editorial today promoting Walk to the Park was not quite written on bended knee, nor on kneepads, but it could easily be mocked as, at best, kinda icky in that it promotes so heavily a quasi-company event.
Doesn’t bother me, though. I’m in the tank for Klyde Warren Park, for media finding ways to connect with the city they cover and new revenue streams. Besides, that paper endorsed Mitt Freaking Romney. I’m going to sweat it for hyping a cool lunch break?
This story, wherein the Parkland board is stunned to learn the hospital can’t afford to build the outpatient clinic it thought it was building, will not get less messy anytime soon.
I sat in on a meeting a few years ago with Dallas Police Department brass to discuss something similar to this partnership with a social-networking site for neighborhoods that “helps residents create quasi-crime-watch programs.” The DPD officials impressed me with how open and forward thinking they are in using new tools, especially to make high-crime spots safer.
Eric Nicholson at Unfair Park points us to a Thanksgiving-week story I missed by the great Randy Lee Loftis, wondering what happened to that City Council fracking ordinance.
Confused. But also intrigued.
WATCH: Channel 33′s ‘Gay Agenda’ features hot twink action — and me dallasvoice.com/cw-33-10132910…— Dallas Voice (@DallasVoice) November 29, 2012
Good to see Tesar has learned to be magnanimous.
The funniest thing in the world is a short angry hairy redneck calling me a monkey ... Top Chef is the greatest cooking show ever !— John Tesar (@ChefJohnTesar) November 29, 2012
Promo chicanery? Not on Uncle Barky’s watch!
Did DFW's WFAA-TV really have the market's most-watched newscasts in Nov. sweeps? A case study in promo chicanery. bit.ly/U3mI3D— Ed Bark (@unclebarkycom) November 28, 2012
Just kill me.
Rick Carlisle just announced Mavs are signing Derek Fisher— Mark Followill (@MFollowill) November 29, 2012