Looking forward to the future of journalism

San Antonio Express-News launches paywall

Our new paid site was unveiled today. We still have the free site at mysanantonio.com that will offer things like breaking news, entertainment and event calendars. But in-depth stories and other features will now be tucked behind a paywall at Expressnews.com. I’m not sure how I feel about paywalls on news sites, but I see … Read more

Print ain’t dead: How an itty bitty news brief sparked dozens of phone calls from readers

With all the talk about print being dead, you’d think no one actually picks up newspapers anymore to read the archaic things. Tell that to Elaine Austin Palmer. Palmer curates the Wesley Peacock House, a historic home built in 1890 near Woodlawn Lake that served as the headquarters of a military academy. I wrote a … Read more

A sliver of hope for the New Orleans Times-Picayune? Only if spin is true

As corporate honchos try to paint a rosy picture about the New Orleans Times-Picayune downsizing and no longer publishing a daily print edition, I hope this nugget from the newspaper’s editor, Jim Amoss, is more than corporate spin: Plans call for the Wednesday, Friday and Sunday editions of The Times-Picayune to be in many ways … Read more

Telling old stories in new ways: The 175th Anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo

San Antonio Express-News Alamo Front Page

In the news business, sometimes the worst part about major events is writing about their anniversaries. They arrive year after year with all the predictability and excitement of receiving Christmas fruitcake from your Aunt Helga. There’s usually no new information to offer, and the hapless journalist gets stuck trying to come up with an interesting story.

So I was pleasantly surprised by the Alamo Immortal project published by the San Antonio Express-News, which put a creative twist on the old story of the Battle of the Alamo and its 175h anniversary.

The idea was the brainchild of Dean Lockwood, director of news production at the newspaper. A history buff who knew the big anniversary for the Alamo was coming up, Dean started brainstorming a few months ago about new, original ways to cover the event.

“Sad to say, it’s something that can get a little taken for granted in the media,” Dean told me. “It’s something we cover year after year. You know, the same picture — Dawn at the Alamo.

“We could have gone that route and done the obligatory feature and a couple of other little things and everybody would have been fine with that,” he said. But Dean wanted to try something new, and he brainstormed with art director Adrian Alvarez.

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Why you can’t read my news story online, and why that could be a good thing

I wrote a story about the dangers of police chases that was published in Sunday’s paper. If you’re a subsciber to the San Antonio Express-News or bought Sunday’s edition, you could read my story. But you can’t read it online — it’s been embargoed for a few days. I like the Internet. But I like … Read more