Meet the Media – James Russell, Staff Writer at the Dallas Voice
- What’s your top story for today?
I recently covered the Dallas Art Fair for the Dallas Voice’s Instant Tea blog. It’s a nice change from one of my primary beats right now: the Texas Legislature. I also wrote about cremation for a recent print edition.
- Tell us about your dream assignment.
I’ve always wanted to write a long feature on a controversial local development, the Trinity River Vision in Fort Worth, using The Chicago Tribune’s Blair Kamin’s similar series on developing Chicago’s waterfront. Given my interest in architecture, art, development and politics, I’d be in Heaven!
- Describe the wackiest story you’ve written.
I wrote about the 40th coronation of the United Court of the Lone Star Empire. It may be wacky by some standards, but they are some of the most genuine and passionate people I know. The Empress called me up during their coronation (really, just read the article) and identified me as the “journalist who wrote the article.” Everybody cheered! I think I was made an honorary member that night. A lot of the veteran court members told me they are misunderstood, and it makes them sad because they take pride in their work. I had to tell that story. Journalism is about explaining and unpacking complexities. I think I did that there.
- What is your PR pet peeve?
When I pass on a pitch, please don’t take it personally! More importantly please don’t guilt me if I pass on the pitch. I always try to be as respectful and funny with my replies as I can be, so don’t ruin what could be a future relationship by insisting your client is, in fact, good for my paper.
- Top trend in the industry you’re currently covering or are interested in.
The integration of interactive content and multimedia features within arts criticism and journalism. Is that a thing? If not, it should be!
- Tell us a little about yourself.
I live in Fort Worth, Texas, where I was raised. I love reporting and writing; I’ve never wanted to do anything else! Writing totally found me really early in life, but I avoided it. I was scared! I mean, I was five and just knew “I’m going to be a writer. I’m going to write about everything. I’m going to be an arts and culture writer and critic.” And damn, I’m there. I also freelance. I blogged at The Huffington Post and contribute to the Fort Worth Weekly. To learn more about background and current projects, take a look at my portfolio or keep up with me on Twitter.