A veteran journalist and manager in the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain, Gelsanliter wanted a successful, independent operation for his week-in-the-life profile. The Dallas Morning News fit those requirements and was also facing a city with changing demographics and economics. Gelsanliter chronicles years of empire building in a rich study of the Dallas Morning News and how it put stakes down to become perhaps the South's most important newspaper. Here, editor Burl Osborne lives ``each day as if it might be his last''; executive editor Ralph Langer and sports editor Dave Smith are giants who walk the Earth; publisher Robert Decherd (the great-grandson of founder G.B. Dealey) is a man looking to bring a dynasty back to power. Reporters get less ``screen time'' here, but the business of journalism may well be more important to News execs than journalism itself. By describing one week in the paper's routine, Gelsanliter explains not only how the business works, but why the News may fail in its minority coverage, how it tries to reach suburban dwellers and why certain articles appear where and how they do. When the News's competitor, the Times-Herald, folds, the reader feels like part of a grand and well-fought campaign and comes away with a new understanding of the Fourth Estate. A fascinating study in watching the Watchmen. Photos not seen by PW. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995 Release date: 05/01/1995 Genre: Nonfiction
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