Dallas Observer Editor Julie Lyons revealed last week in her new "Bible Girl" blog that she is against gay marriage: "In my profession and in my sphere -- the alternative press -- gay marriage is pretty much a non-issue. Anyone who opposes it -- in other words, someone who holds an alternative view -- is considered a bigot, a hater and a homophobe," Lyons wrote. This week, she divulges in another column-length post that in earlier years she had an "almost overwhelming attraction for other girls" that "had nothing to do with sex," but she has now been happily married to a man for 16 years. "Love her or hate her for it, it's fearless stuff," blogs Dallas Morning News section editor Rod Dreher. "And considering how conformist media circles are, even as they congratulate themselves on their freethinking ways, admirably courageous."
Many residents of predominantly black South Dallas are glad that Mayor Laura Miller is not seeking another term, according to an article by Thomas Korosec in today's Houston Chronicle. "The mayor's troubles in South Dallas began with her work as an acid-penned columnist for the Dallas Observer, a weekly tabloid," former Observer staff writer Korosec asserts, citing specific examples where Miller "skewered" local black leaders. "Rightly or wrongly there was a perception that she was racist," Miller appointee Tom Dunning says.
The finalists in the National Association of Black Journalists' 2006 Salute to Excellence Awards were announced Friday, and six of the nine nominations in the "Newspaper - Circulation Under 150,000" division are Village Voice Media newspapers. The other three finalists are not alt-weeklies. Riverfront Times is the leader with three nominations: "Newspaper - Enterprise" for Randall Roberts' "It Was Just Like Beverly Hills"; "Newspaper - Sports" for Mike Seely's "Alley Cat"; and "Newspaper - Features" for Ben Westhoff's "Rap vs. Rapture." Dallas Observer has two contenders in the "Newspaper - Sports" category: Keven McAlester for "Balls Out" and Paul Kix for "Alone No More." Finally, Chuck Strouse of Miami New Times is nominated in the "Newspaper - Commentary" category for "Free this Priest." The awards recognize exemplary coverage of people or issues in the African diaspora. Winners will be announced August 19 at the NABJ convention in Indianapolis.
Former Dallas Observer columnist Laura Miller has been the city's mayor since 2002. CBS 11 News reports that she has decided not to run again next year because she would like to spend more time with her family. That is good news for other candidates, such as Zac Crain -- also an erstwhile Observer writer.
Habitual readers of AAN News may experience deja vu upon hearing that erstwhile Observer writer Zac Crain officially announced his candidacy for mayor of Dallas yesterday. Unlike current Dallas mayor -- and former Observer columnist -- Laura Miller, Crain didn't write about politics: He served as the Observer's music editor before joining the staff of American Airlines' American Way magazine. In his announcement speech, Crain said, "We can do this. I know this in my heart and in my head."
Alex Magocsi's body was found in his car on March 27, according to The New Mexican, which also reports Magocsi left his job at the Dallas Observer when he moved to New Mexico in the early '90s. The cause of death has not been determined.
A recent survey of AAN papers revealed that the applications alt-weeklies are using to track circulation are as diverse as the newspapers themselves. A few papers rely on their in-house wiz for a custom-made program, but for the rest of the industry, a commercial package is the only sophisticated option. Alt-weekly circulation insiders describe their woes, successes, and dreams of better uses for the numbers.