OLD Media Moves

Dallas paper says economy is a snapshot

October 12, 2009


The Dallas Morning News began a new feature Monday in its business section called the Local Economic Snapshot.

This week’s was about unemployment, and it included statewide job data, statewide unemployment rates, employment by industry and comments from economists on where they think the Texas unemployment figure is headed.

Dennis Fulton, the paper’s business editor, said the weekly feature came out of brainstorming done by the biz news desk staff during its regular meetings.

“We kicked around ideas for new features that might be useful to readers,” said Fulton. “We write a lot about the local economy, but we haven’t done a good job dissecting the numbers visually.

“Management liked the idea and gave us some extra space in our Monday section to accommodate it,” added Fulton. “We’ll rotate the topics, spreading the research burden among several beat reporters. Today was on the local job market. Other themes will likely be the local housing market, consumer spending/retail, venture capital, auto sales and the view from the Dallas Fed.”

Monday’s “Economic Snapshot” was researched by Brendan Case, the paper’s economy reporter. He’ll also be responsible for the one about the Dallas Fed, but other beat reporters have been assigned to research the Snapshot for other weeks — retail, autos, etc.

The paper’s graphics department has dedicated an artist to produce them, said Fulton. “Once we’ve produced one on each topic, updating them shouldn’t be as labor intensive,” he added.

Here is what it looks like:

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