If You Can't Beat 'Em
We totally agree with the Chronicle's ideas on news judgment
By Richard Connelly
Houston Chronicle "society beat"
On a recent Sunday, nothing whatsoever was as important to the Houston Chronicle as the announcement of its new society reporters. Mayoral race? Texans victory? Meh.
The Chron placed a huge photo on its front page, and even-huger photo on its feature-section front, and an equally huge photo inside that section, all to announce that its traditional nauseatingly sycophantic coverage of the "society beat" will now be carried on by its visual-arts critic and someone with no journalism background to speak of. Because hey, why the hell not?
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In case the photos weren't enough, there were interviews with the reporters and questionnaires designed to answer everything we might ever want to know about them. (Surprisingly, this involved more than zero questions.)
It all seemed very, very odd to us, but Chron features boss Kyrie O'Connor told us the package might have caused some head-scratching on the news side, but it was intended as a "fun," nontraditional thing.
She didn't use the words "wacky" or "zany," but she could have.
She is absolutely right, of course. So in the sense of joining the Chronicle on the barricades of the Brave New World of Fun, we offer our introduction to our own Arriving Stars, the guys who cover music and the homeless for us.