Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dunwoody News Coverage - time for me to scale back?

Today's Creative Loafing has a great article on how the Atlanta Journal Constitution is scaling back on Atlanta news since moving their operation to the City of Dunwoody.  The paper is now clearly focusing more on the suburbs then the city for which the paper is named, as well pushing articles and respected journalists to the web for electronic content. I am a 7 day a week subscriber to the AJC; which I read during my morning commute on MARTA; but honestly the only thing in the entire paper that I usually haven't already read on line are the comics and the editorials. Dick Williams, the Editor of the Dunwoody Crier is quoted several times in the article and the front cover of the Creative Loafing mocking the AJC is pretty funny and therefore also worth a look.  The issue of the AJC abandoning Atlanta for the burbs was first written by long time AJC columnist Maria Saporta, whom I met last week, and she now produces her own outlet for her columns on the SaporataReport

Recently for profit Dunwoody news outlets seem to be multiplying and expanding, be it the original print versions of the Dunwoody Crier, the AJC, the Champion, the Neighbor, the Reporter; web versions like the Aha Connection and now with the new kid on the block the Dunwoody Patch; I don't see the need to attempt to fill the same void of on-line Dunwoody news that I did several years ago.  With the creation of custom Twitter searches on platforms such as TweetDeck, custom Google news searches that are delivered to your mailbox and the ability to follow numerous Dunwoody bloggers via RSS feeds; I think now is a good time for me to step back a bit and refocus my energy and priorities just a bit.

I will continue my process of being informed on all things Dunwoody in order to properly serve on the City Council, I just don't see the need to replicate everything others now report. Providing city information and pushing for a transparent government will still be the focus of my blog but doing close to 500 posts per year will not continue. 

It is just not sustainable, I'm sure you understand.


Mark said...

Your decision is completely understandable. The difference, as I see it, is that I find you a much more trustworthy, fair minded presenter of local news and views. This trust was earned over the many years you've been posting those several hundred posts per year. You also lack the profit motive and clearly feel strongly about transparency and fairness.

Thank you, John.

DunwoodyTalk said...

John, Hopefully I won't have to make two new nicknames like: KingBloggerBob and Johnny Reb

I know the hours you put in to the blog, a lot. Your role is still vital to the community. I'll start a fundraiser soon to buy you that leaf vacuum truck you've always dreamt of owning.

How about giving us a 'Top Ten' of all your blog posts?

Ken Thompson said...

Surely you're not joining Thaddeus...

Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...

Blogging is exhausting. I've given it over a decade now, in some form or another. It ain't killed me yet, but it's worn me to the bone. I'm hoping to just yap now... in some sort of broadcast medium. Less of a a laborious production and... talk is cheap. 140 characters per Tweet is plentiful enough for overloading the Information Swamp we all wade through now.

Keep eyes on the prize, John! If you can make City of Dunwoody politics as interesting as, for example, South Carolina politics, you'll get there.

Your fan and supporter,
Grayson Daughters
SpaceyG on Twitter

Bob Fiscella said...

John - your blog gave me inspiration to write my neighborhood blog.

Thanks for all the long, late hours spent in front of your computer screen!




I read the article about 12 hours ago, after I got off of work, and I find it fascinating. I also think I'm indirectly mentioned by Dick Williams in it? Good times.

But regardless, it's rather interesting how my former and current employers (The Dunwoody Crier and the Marietta Daily Journal, respectively) were both approached by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. While I appreciated the AJC's move into suburbia, I actually enjoyed reading about city of Atlanta goings-on. It makes me wonder what's going to come in and fill the void for the in-towners. Atlanta is such a fascinating place, with so many stories to be told.

But the real reason I'm writing this: Do what you have to do, man; but I think I can speak for a lot of people by saying we come here not only to hear about Dunwoody community and area news, but also to hear what "King John" feels about stuff. For example — I was wondering how you felt about the Dunwoody Prep shooting yesterday.

As you know, I tried blogging about six months ago, and (Grayson? SpaceyG?) is right: It's exhausting, and with little reward. Blogging takes a lot away from your family and friends and social life.

But if you feel tired and burnt-out on blogging, I certainly understand. You've done a damn fine job and I'm proud to call you my councilman.




(That's just my poorly and haphazardly written two cents.)

Momfirst said...

God save the king :)

GaryRayBetz said...

Well, Sir, as to integrity there aren't many men or women that surpass you - perhaps Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Jimmy Carter, Mother Teresa, Barack Obama, Saint Joan, Eleanor Roosevelt, Federal Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr., or Rosa Parks -, but in terms of providing an informative objective blog, albeit only your obvious and well warranted subjective pride and love of your family, there is no one above you.

You are a good man, John Heneghan, and I'm sure whatever endeavor you embrace your equitableness, virtue, and compassion will continue.

You have only my admiration and veneration, Sir...

BrookRunner said...


You forgot to add Nancy Pelosi, Keith Olbermann, Cynthia Sheehad, Cynthia McKinney, John Kerry, and the hosts of The View.

Are you also a member of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas?


Umm... huh? Have I missed something?

Gary Betz is an intelligent, prolific writer and an honorable gentleman — in fact, if King John were to ever retire from public service, Mr. Betz would be my No. 1 choice to replace Heneghan. Betz's knowledge and views are always thought-provoking and definitely interesting — even if you do not agree with him.

Why the hate?

(Or am I not picking up on the satire/irony?)

GaryRayBetz said...

Brent, you do not know how honored I am to have a person that I respect so much, as well as your wonderful family, write such kind words about me. You probably aren't aware of this but your endeavor into journalism with your internship years ago at the Dunwoody Crier was of great inspiration to one of my daughters.

Regarding the other commenter, I'm not sure what his issues are. I had listed folks who I had recently read their biographies or autobiographies and thought they had embodied the same type of integrity that John Heneghan projects, but in hindsight, I probably should have included some of my other heroes such as - Senator Everett Dirksen, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lou Gehrig, and Pope John Paul II, but the list would have proven to be much too unwieldy.

However, I do expect one day, after both you and Mr. Heneghan have a little more living under your belts, to add your names as well.

But regarding me ever running for public office, that could never happen - not with me having more skeletons in my closet than the prop manager on the set of CSI - Miami. So, I'll just have to be happy to continue to my reign as the village idiot.

John Heneghan said...

Thank you to everyone for their kind words, I am very touched and humbled by the comments here as well as the 15 personal e-mails I received. I won't be shutting down the blog, I just won't be attempting to post every night like I have done in the past.

I will be doing a yearly recap of my favorite posts as I have done in the past, thanks for the reminder.

Gary, you and I have been friends for close to 15 years and I truly value your wit, wisdom and more than anything our friendship. Thank you.


Gary: We enjoy reading your letters and posts. Your insight provides people with what "government run amok" can look like.

As for your child, tell him/her* to become well-versed in all skill sets in journalism, to get a good business background and to never stop writing... EVER. And it's not failure if they don't actually enter professional journalism — it's probably a blessing. After two lay-offs, I'm looking to get out of this industry.

*I am not sure which one it is.

As for BrookRunner, I am not familiar with him/her. I first assumed it was an inside joke between you two; but now it appears the humor is lost on me. Oh well, he/she has had other good posts elsewhere.

You'd make a good public servant, Gary. You tell it like it is and are unafraid if your opinions don't match popular sentiment. That's much-appreciated around these parts.

King John: Do what you have to do, man. We'll miss your daily wit, but I can certainly understand why.

DeKalb Officers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DeKalb Officers said...

We have an appreciation for your time and effort.


GaryRayBetz said...


Your blog has always been so analogous to what you as a citizen comprehend as much or probably more than anyone else that embraced the historic challenge of building a new city - is the immense, and at times appalling, amount of work it would require.

I know your wonderful wife is your most auspicious asset (though has her own profession as well), but how you accomplish all you do with three young sons that admire and adore you and want you involved in all facets of their lives, a very demanding and complex career, an extended family spread all over the country (not to mention a sister that courageously served our country in Iraq and your brother -who protects his own city, bravely, as one of Chicago's Finest-) that consume your caring concern, your religious obligations, etc., is truthfully beyond me.

"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it."

-George Bernard Shaw

I sincerely thank you for all the time, insight, patience, and diligent effort that you have so selflessly contributed to this community.

gary ray betz



That is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Go back and read what you just wrote — that alone would earn you my vote, if you ever chose to run for public office.

What you wrote is probably the best way to sum up what we're all feeling.

You, sir, have a way with words.

Dunwoody Mom said...

It goes without saying that our community has benefitted tremendously from this blog and John's work.

John is an inspiration to many if us and here's to many more years on the Dunwoody City Council for Mr. Heneghan!

GaryRayBetz said...


Let me say one last thing here and we'll be done with all this.

When I get a few pops in me, which is quite often these days, I might author a couple of pages of lyrical whimsy or segue from discussing baseball stats into the grandiloquence of a gentle diatribe, but to no real end - no more than a bar stool philosopher - Charles Bukowski, Hubert Selby Jr., and Henry Miller have all done that - and much better.

But you, my friend, write with an earnest, intellectual, fresh voice - without a hint of artifice. Keep to it - you have quite a future in front of you.

gary ray betz


"Write drunk; edit sober." — Ernest Hemingway

Words I have lived my life by.

Sarah Rogue said...

For two weeks I been reading this comments over and over and I finally think I understand it now. Brookrunner is a member of the Westboro Baptist Church and wants offered this new man to join also.

But now I dont understand why the other man thought he was being mean to him. Maybe because he didnt want to drive all the way to Topeka, Arkansas to go to church. If it is a really good church I think I would drive a hundred miles or maybe two hundred, but if it was more than two hundred miles I dont think I could do that drive every Sunday.

SmartOne said...

Sarah - are you interested in starting a new church here in Dunwoody? I heard the Westboro Church lady on the RegularGuys radio show today on 100.5 on the FM frequency

Sarah Rogue said...

Sorry I couldnt get out of that office until this late. I am supposed to always leave at 3. You think that as white as I get peoples teeth that they would smile more. Such grumps!

I thank you smartone for your offer of joining your church but I am very happy with the one I go to now. It has been more than 20 years I have been a member. Thank you.