Last Friday, many Dallasites – LPR included – were surprised to hear that the Dallas Morning News will cut 40 reporters and editors as a stipulation of its recent buyout. Now, the paper's downsizing wasn't a shock - it's happening more and more these days as the media landscape continues to evolve. In fact, the American Society of News Editors released its annual survey yesterday, reporting a net job loss of 3,800 news professionals in 2014. In the DMN's case, the names on the chopping block stopped us in our tracks.
Long-time columnist Steve Blow, airlines/aviation reporter Terry Maxon and other tenured DMN mainstays are on the list. Dallas media staples. Well-respected journalists. In a number of instances, friends.
For public relations professionals, media consolidation and downsizing impacts the relationships we've cultivated. No longer can you pick up the phone and have history, name recognition and understanding with the person on the other end. There's a familiarity that comes with working alongside a reporter for many years.
But, more than losing a contact, it also means a new level of education and assistance will be needed for the next generation of reporters.
Terry Maxon has covered DFW Airport and local airlines, such as Southwest and American, for years. The next aviation reporter – if that specific beat is retained – will need to come up to speed. PR pros can make their lives easier by offering background information, sending along relevant trends and providing interviews, photos and facts when requested. Sometimes just offering help is appreciated.
This isn't unique to the DMN. It's happening across newsrooms in every channel of traditional media throughout the world. For this Dallas PR agency, though, we know the Metroplex's media landscape will never quite look the same.
Photo by AlBakker via Flickr