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The news that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is outsourcing 26 advertising design jobs to India comes as no surprise, seeing as how Fort Worth Weekly reporter Dan McGraw predicted it on Blotch a couple of weeks ago. No surprise, but still sad for the local graphics and production people whose jobs are going bye-bye.

This is a nationwide trend that’s currently focusing on ad production departments (but might eventually spread to editorial departments as well). The Weekly’s production staff was scratching their heads over this movement, since they figure it would violate some kind of laws just to e-mail overseas some of the “art” they have to deal with (think: back-of-the-book ads). Take, for instance, the time the hooker, er, prostitute, er, client walked into the Weekly to place an ad and, when asked to provide a picture to run with the ad, she handed over a nude photo ripped directly from the pages of Hustler. On the other hand, who knows, this might inspire a whole new industry or two in India, unless edible underwear, sexy candles, and massage oils are already made there.

Teaching by Digging
If it weren’t for bad news, the news biz would have no news at all these days, it seems. But every once in a while, a nice little flower manages to raise its head above the fertilizer.
Take the journalism program at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, blossoming under the leadership of Pulitzer Prize winner and former Weekleteer Dan Malone. Like his former Dallas Morning News colleague Craig Flournoy at SMU, and as Dan himself did in an earlier teaching post at the University of North Texas, Malone is proving that the best way to inspire and to teach journalism to students is to throw them some red meat – important, real-world stories – rather than just having them do exercises out of the back of the textbook. Fort Worth Weekly collaborated with Flournoy’s and Malone’s classes on past projects that won national awards, and Tarleton students recently updated a story on an indicted college fund-raising official for publication in the Weekly.

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A few days ago, more good news arrived: Malone’s students have won two trophies in the regional Mark of Excellence Awards competition put on by the Society of Professional Journalists. The actual places won by the Tarleton crew will be announced later this month; first-place winners go on to a national competition.
Static can see it now – a whole new generation of little Dan Malones running around pissing off the powers-that-be in Stephenville and elsewhere. Makes us – sniff – so proud.

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