If you read the print edition of the Star-Telegram this week, I hope you noticed a new section we’ll be running every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday called “City by City.”It features the sort of “micro-local” news that’s extremely important to very specific parts of our coverage area, although it might not be of enough general interest to warrant placement in our daily local news section, where space is at a premium. Online, of course, we have unlimited space to run news, but in print we have to make harder choices about the topics we cover.To get in the local section, the news needs to be broad enough, in the opinion of our editors, to be of interest to a large portion of our readership. But City by City gives us another option to get news that is more location-specific into the Star-Telegram.With City by City, our intent is to offer short stories originating from virtually every city and sometimes specific neighborhoods in our coverage area, which is mainly Tarrant County but also includes parts of Denton, Wise, Parker and Johnson counties. Over the course of a week I would hope the city where you live would get at least one story affecting it. I won’t guarantee it, but that is our intent. For instance, I live in Keller but my mailing address is Roanoke. I’m right on the edge of being in Westlake. A couple of years ago when they decided to do some major work on the main street I travel — Pearson Lane — it was a big deal to people in my neighborhood, but someone living in Mansfield wouldn’t have cared. No way would that information have risen to the level that it should be in the Tarrant & Texas section of the paper, but it would have been a perfect story for City by City.We’ll primarily be running stories about city government, schools, businesses and neighborhood associations, but if we have an item about an individual we’ll consider running that too on occasion. We’re going to depend very heavily on representatives of those institutions to contact us and supply details about their news. Items for consideration should be submitted via email only, to email@example.com. Please include a contact name, email address and phone number. We cannot receive items by mail or phone.Patrick Walker, a longtime reporter and editor on our Arlington coverage team, is the City by City editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 817-390-7423.Shirley Jinkins, who has worked as a reporter in our Fort Worth, Arlington and Northeast Tarrant newsrooms, is also a member of the City by City team and will gather items from various groups. She is at email@example.com or 817-390-7657.Next week will mark my 17th year as executive editor of the Star-Telegram, and during that period we’ve had lots of different strategies to cover local news based on the circumstances that existed at the time.While we would love to give every reader detailed coverage of the topics they’re most interested in all the time, we sometimes have to make compromises based on balancing the economic realities of being a for-profit business.Some longtime Star-Telegram readers may remember that many years ago we produced a weekly local news section called “Hometown Star,” which was distributed mainly to readers in eastern Tarrant County. That didn’t last very long, because we couldn’t generate enough advertising dollars to sustain it.I’m confident that City by City is going to be a success because we’ve learned a lot over the years. Publishing three times a week is going to make it much more timely for readers, and our advertisers have reacted very positively to the new section. One even committed to being in the section for the next 52 weeks.Take a look and let me know how we can improve City by City.
Jim Witt is executive editor of the Star-Telegram. 817-390-7704 Twitter: @jimelvis