Dallas Weekly making the news look good with Gordon Jackson as new Managing Editor

One of my biggest frustration in the three years I’ve been blogging is my inablility to connect with the local black media. I’m not sure if Dallas South is seen as a threat or just insignificant, but most of my attempts at outreach to local black papers and radio have been rebuffed. Though I’ve found plenty of champions in the mainstream media that the I’m so critical of, there are only two members African-American outlets that have been excited about working with us : Willis Johnson and Gordon Jackson.

I first met Mr. Jackson while he was at the Dallas Examiner. The very first time I exchanged cards with him was at Friendship-West’s Faith Summit on Poverty during a session on media.

Since then I’ve bumped into Mr. Jackson at numerous events including last summer at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. He even asked me to participate in the Examiner’s Monday night political forums during the November election cycle.

When the Examiner decided to relieve Mr. Jackson of his Managing Editor duties (economy related savings measure), I was befuddled. But I still saw Jackson covering events while he waited for his next opportunity to show itself. He even wrote a guest post for Dallas South a few months back.

The Dallas Weekly realized that one of Dallas’ best journalists was available and brought Jackson in as their Managing Editor a couple of months ago. It was an excellent move for both parties, and praised by everyone in the community that I’ve spoken with.

Since changing their presentation from magazine to newspaper format, I’ve found myself picking up the Weekly more often. But it recent weeks The Weekly, under the leadership of Executive Editor Cheryl Smith, has been popping off the pages. The colors, layout and content have all combined to further distance The Weekly from the rest of the Black newspapers in town. The offering is truly deserving of their moniker as “No. 1 serving the African American Community.

I’m proud to say that my relationship with Mr. Jackson has translated to his new position at the Dallas Weekly. A few weeks ago we were both covering a news conference at Southwest Center Mall and he asked me if I would share my pictures with him. The next week I received my first photo credit in The Weekly’s April 23rd issue (photo of Edna Pemberton and Councilman Tennell Atkins).

In the current Weekly, I had the opportunity to grade President Obama’s first 100 days (at Mr. Jackson’s request). I was quite honored to give my opinion, though I hated to see that the only person to grade the president (B) lower than me was Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (C).

The entire media industry is going through a huge shift, and Black newspapers are extremely vulnerable. The Dallas Weekly is getting better in spite of these challenging times, and that bodes well for the African-American community which they serve. I look forward to continuing to build the relationship between Dallas South and The Dallas Weekly.

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