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Unprecedented times

This week, as we put our paper to bed, I glanced at our front page and realized how different things in our industry are than they were last year at this time. 
It is homecoming season, of course, and since we cover three counties there’s no shortage of homecoming royalty pictures. On our front page this week were a young man and young woman from an area high school sharing with the world their joy of being crowned king and queen — but from behind their masks, protecting themselves and others even at that moment. 

Ask an Attorney: Responding to requests to take down content

In the digital age, somebody’s worst moment can be the first result a Google search returns on them, potentially forever. Increasingly, news publishers are being asked to take down content that the person making the request wants the world to forget. Whether the profession of journalism—the self-proclaimed “first draft of history”—should be in the business of unpublishing yesterday’s news presents thorny practical, ethical, and even existential dilemmas.

By CHIP STEWART, Texas Christian University, and DEBORAH L. DWYER, Reynolds Journalism Institute

Covering a pandemic: Don’t let fatigue and friction stop you

Just as some people are tiring of taking precautions against the novel coronavirus, helping it spread, I’m sure some newsrooms are tiring of covering it. And that helps it spread, too, by making it seem less of a threat and discouraging precautions.
And I fear that some newsrooms aren’t just tired of covering the pandemic, but have scaled back their coverage because of objections from people who think the pandemic is overblown or even a hoax that will fade after the election.

Week of Oct. 5 - 9

Irving company pivots to green energy
Vistra, an energy powerhouse based in Irving, announced plans to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.
A key part of that plan is a capital investment of  $1.15 billion by 2022 on solar and storage projects in California and Texas. The company also plans to close coal-fire energy plants in Illinois and Ohio by 2027.