Paper’s plan has Twitter users groping for words

After looking through hundreds of comments on Twitter about the “bold” and rather odd reorganization at the Dallas Morning News, one freelance copy editor summarized in a tweet: “Consensus: apocalypse.”

The comments she read through were attached to retweets of a link to a blog of the Daily Observer in Dallas. Robert Wilonsky republished a memo from Bob Mong, Dallas Morning News editor, and Cyndy Carr, senior vice president for sales, that laid out a strategy for “business/news integration” in which editors would report to general managers responsible for different segments of advertising sales.

“I think I just heard the wall fall,” a friend tweeted me. “Journalism: Dead in Dallas,” said another.

Twitter conversations can be an interesting way to gauge opinion. The Web site bit.ly compiles data on links it provides, and it allows a quick look at hundreds of comments added to Twitter messages as people pass along a link.

Reading through bit.ly’s list, at http://bit.ly/info/6d5AHv, one can almost feel the collective gasp.

Here are the comments on the bit.ly list at 3 the afternoon the story came out.They are mostly in order, with Twitter names, links and repetition removed. I didn’t look for the controversial or clever. I didn’t have to. This is pretty much all of them. It’s a long list, but a quick skim will give you an idea:

  • Okay, this is the worst thing to happen in the history of the printed page
  • I just died a little
  • Wait, what?!: wow, Dallas Morning News editors reporting to ad sales
  • Yikes is right. RT Yikes. Dallas News has a bold new strategy. Yikes.
  • Mourning the Dallas Morning News. Because what’s happened there means it’s no longer a newspaper. It’s an ad circular
  • Commenter said: “DMN RIP.”
  • Holy cow!
  • Wow. Unbelievable
  • Ugh; it’s wrong on so many levels.
  • This is not ok
  • More pervasive that you’d think…
  • Really interesting developments in Dallas, where some editors will now report to sales managers
  • OMG! News is all about ad revenue now.
  • uh-oh
  • Dallas Morning News editors now report to ad sales managers. Seems the death of real journalism is upon us
  • Bold strategy n DMN reorg: Breakng dwn old walls (between sales & edit)
  • oh yeah, this is good for society.
  • OMFG. I quit. Journalism R.I.P. “Dallas News, a New “Bold Strategy”: Section Editors Reporting to Sales Managers”
  • I’m devoting a week’s worth out outrage to this
  • Surely nothing bad could come of this
  • Very disturbing: Editors reporting to sales folks.
  • Editors to report to Sales Managers at The Dallas News (Nothing bad could happen here, right)
  • OMG! Stop the madness: Dallas Morning News editors now report to sales managers.
  • So very wrong
  • Newsroom and Sales integration in Dallas? They say progressive. I say bad idea for content integrity
  • Really, is it already time to sell your soul? Dallas Morning News editors now report to sales teams.
  • This memo must be a few years old. Advertisers have been guiding “news” in this fish wrapper for a long time.
  • Yeah, WTF??
  • And the wall came crumbling down
  • Well, the Dallas Morning News has ceased to be a newspaper.
  • First sign of the apocalypse?
  • Recipe for total disaster
  • The end of the world as we know it. Editors reporting to sales people.
  • Whoa.
  • Wha- What?
  • Journalism FAIL
  • Probably not the best way to foster journalistic integrity
  • dear, sweet God in heaven, yes. > Did the Dallas Morning News just jump the shark?
  • It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel … rather queasy.
  • not in my newspaper
  • wow, Dallas Morning News editors reporting to ad sales
  • It’s like the journalism end of days
  • Wow. This is new ground.
  • •ridiculous.
  • If all true, this is nuts
  • Dallas News makes The Onion irrelevant …
  • I just died a little
  • Dallas Morning News sections now report to sales staff. In case you needed more bad news about journalism…
  • Wow indeed! Putting ads in charge of news #journfail
  • wow, Dallas Morning News eds reporting to ad sales
  • This is not ok
  • This is so very wrong
  • Sad state of affairs in “journalism.”
  • that’s transparency, but not substantive change
  • Unbelievable, ridiculous.
  • Another sign of the journalistic apocalypse facing the newspaper business
  • My newspaper and journalism friends, it’s a dark day for journalistic integrity
  • The #DMN has sold its soul.
  • taking things further: Dallas Morning News section editors to report directly to sales execs
  • splain it to me, pls. I just don’t see how sales managers bossing news editors can work
  • If I find out this is happening at B-CS Eagle, I may cry.
  • What could possibly go wrong, journalistically speaking ?
  • A huge nail in the nearly finished newspaper coffin
  • •Scary direction for the DMN.
  • This looks like a steaming pile of bad judgment
  • Wow, this is like the most astoundingly bad idea ever
  • God help us all
  • I have no words
  • DMN turns over editorial content to the ad reps. Can we just count that as another dead paper?
  • Holy schnike
  • OK, you got me. That was a bigger WTF! than me seeing Tiger all over my front page this morning. WTF!
  • So much for church/state
  • Scary
  • Ahhhh!!
  • Is this the future of journalism?
  • La foto de cómo sí desaparecerán los periódicos… y el periodismo. Editores reportando al Jefe de Ventas en Dallas.
  • They’d B OK w/editors replaced by Enquirer staffers
  • No. WHAT?!
  • Editorial to report to sales directorate at Dallas News. Un-bee-LIEVE-able.
  • this is like the most astoundingly bad idea ever
  • Wow!
  • A really different way of doing a newspaper, courtesy of the DMN
  • So what do the editor and managing editor do now?
  • Some Dallas Morning News editors now report to SALES managers… Wow.
  • And people wonder why “news” is so sanitized.
  • “To a dark place this line of thought will carry us.”
  • Well, there goes any trust I had in the DMN. Sales department now supervises
  • Oh. This is not good.
  • GASP!!!
  • Whoa
  • Kinda long, kinda freaky: newspaper hands editorial reigns to the ad sales dept!
  • Another newspaper bites the dust. The Dallas News hands the newsroom over to the sales dept
  • Mr. Editor, tear … down … this … wall!
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