Monday, July 6, 2009

He Had This Grand Vision...

"Never been lonely. Never been lied to. Never had to scuffle in fear. Nothing denied to. Born at the instant the church bells chime, and the whole world whispering: Born at the right time..." - Paul Simon, Born at the Right Time

By Patrick Alcatraz

New York, N.Y. - Drained by this city's untiring energy and carrying the sweet memory of spending good time with my daughter, Gabrielle, I packed my duffle bag and rolled to LaGuardia Airport, bound for home and a print publication project I've nurtured a bit and now find comfortably on my lap. I have agreed to edit a weekly newspaper in McAllen, Texas.

Hell-o, great stories!

As I've said to many people and friends over the years, the Texas-Mexico border nearest the Gulf of Mexico is a veritable gold mine of gorgeous, meaningful news copy. Why the local dailies never made a national name for themselves writing-up a part of the country others elsewhere know little about is the mystery for me. There are stories all over the place, is my feeling. And we shall work them in the coming weeks, enough of them anyway to bring a new and novel noise to the Rio Grande Valley - a land that has for too long deserved better journalism.

We shall not pick sides, and we shall not serve as a voice for any one segment of the population. We shall strive to be loyal to the truth and the story, not to personalities, ethnic groups, or any advertiser. My approach is this: cover the news fairly and without prejudice, at all times ignoring no one. Our reputation will be earned, not demanded. It will be made from hard, investigative journalism offered with the authority of serious reporting.

I've been around the newspapering block, as it is said, cutting my teeth early-on in my career at The Brownsville Herald and then setting sail a journalism career that took me to the newsrooms of The Boston Globe, New York Post and The Associated Press in Denver. Somewhere in there I wrote a bunch of magazine stories and have to date written three novels. My letters to friends are never less than five pages, forever painted by about-to-be-jailed adventures, the color and stripe of new friends, the meeting of a new this-one-is-it female, the observations of my latest surroundings. This weekly newspaper will be "written," as we opt for magazine-style writing while saying adios to the so-called "inverted triangle" writing style favored by most daily newspapers. Our photography will shine in the same manner that Andy Warhol's Art brightened that world a few years back. But what our readers will quickly and readily see is a product that will write to their intellect, at times provoking a deeper thought to life in the RGV, and to the issues facing the region - troubled Mexico included.

So, keep reading this economic Blog for additional details. I am, as yet, not ready to divulge the name of the publication. Much work has been done, but much more remains between now and early August, when we expect to launch (get an invite to the pre-launch party!). It should be a new wind blowing across the harsh borderlands, winds fronting and trailing this journalism revolution from the outs of Rio Grande City to the sands of South Padre Island. McAllen and the rest of the RGV never have seen a publication like the one I envision. Buckle up, is what I'd suggest. Our stories will have depth and our opinion columns will be biting, yet insightful. Above all, this publication will be well-written. About that, you can be sure. I plan to read it myself.

Yeah, I can't wait....

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