We have had several well-received discussions here about how Dallas’ Only Daily Newspaper covers the Dallas Independent School District. Most of the posters and commenters are surprised that The News doesn’t do more than it does — mostly reacting to breaking news and doing enterprise pieces (newspaperese for longer, investigative stories) about the scandal of the month. There is very little else, even in their various neighborhood sections and publications.

My point in analyzing this sort of thing is that it’s not so much what outlets like The News don’t do, but what they do instead. Hence some story counting on the eve of Dallas getting a Ritz-Carlton, about as swanky a hotel as possible. This is certainly newsworthy, but is it worth this much? Since Aug. 1, there have been six articles in The News about the new Ritz, plus a video and some web-only photos (and I didn’t have the heart to count the mentions on the various blogs). Is a hotel, no matter how fabulous, worth a story every two days?

It is if The News’ agenda is to portray Dallas as a sophisticated, worldly city that attracts captains of industry and the social elite. You’re not going to do that if you run a story about the third-graders at Stonewall or Lakewood elementaries. Sadly, there will probably be more News’ reporters and editors at one Ritz media pre-opening freebie than have ever been in a DISD school to do a story.

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