In 2009, The Dallas Morning News had the largest capitol bureau of any of Texas’ major newspapers. It still does, at least as far as traditional print publications are concerned, and it has a very professional perspective on politics and news coverage.
Although I was an intern in my first year at UT, I was given a great deal to report, both in print and online. I covered immigration and broke an outburst by former Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, as well as policy debate and a constitutional amendment on eminent domain. I also broke a few stories on “WD40s” and voter ID, university student regents, the collapse of the Texas Residential Construction Commission, and Planned Parenthood’s budget.
I was also responsible for “Fresh Eyes,” a youthful perspective on the DMN‘s politics blog, Trail Blazers. It was meant to be a bit lighthearted, but also a fresh take on the eccentricities of politics and legislation; I wrote on how to “fish” for lawmakers from beyond the railing, and compared President Obama’s and Governor Perry’s March Madness brackets.
It was an interesting method of combining serious reporting and blogging with a more informal approach, and I think at the time, everybody was still tinkering with ways to make blogs more accessible and relatable to readers. I think it worked. At the time I felt like I was balancing between reporting as Clark Kent on hard news and Hunter S. Thompson for the more informal blog posts, but the combination was fun. Hard work, but fun.