Media Moves

Dallas editors made bad call with Gates story placement

June 21, 2006

Dallas Morning News business columnist Cheryl Hall argued in her Wednesday column that editors at her paper downplayed the story that Bill Gates was stepping down from day-to-day operations at Microsoft to spend more time running his foundation, which gives away billions.

Cheryl HallHall wrote, “The editors here made a bad call last week when they put the story about Bill Gates giving up his daily duties at Microsoft Corp. inside the business section of The Dallas Morning News.

“Yes, we gave Mr. Gates ‘promos’ on the front page of the paper and the business cover. Yes, his departure is a two-year phaseout. And no, he apparently has no intention of selling his huge holdings in the software giant he created three decades ago with little more than dreams.

“But it’s a monumental moment when the world’s richest man and the guy most responsible for pulling us into the computer age announces that he’s casting aside a high-powered job to confront global health and education issues in some of the poorest reaches of the earth.

“At a time when corporate shenanigans dominate the headlines, such an honorable mission deserves to be on the front page.

“Oddly, last Friday’s edition of The News gave better play to the Whole Foods Market Inc. announcement that it’s going to stop selling live lobsters and crabs. OK, so I read every word of that story, too. But whether lobsters and crabs are sold dead or alive will have no impact on most of our lives.

“Mr. Gates’ decision will.”

Read more here.

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