Rachel Stone, who worked at Lawyer for 14 years, including more than a decade as editor of the Defender of Oak Cliffresigned to be editor of Texas at The real dealfrom November 1.
“Oak Cliff and Advocate Media have been so good to me,” Stone says.
She credits the Lawyer and the Oak Cliff neighborhood to salvage his career as a journalist amid an economic recession and widespread newspaper layoffs.
It all started when she answered a Craigslist ad looking for a blogger to write about Lakewood/East Dallas.
The Lawyer hired Stone to write 10 blog posts a week. His first big story for the Lawyer was about a serial purse thief in Lakewood.
She became editor-in-chief of Lakewood/East Dallas Lawyer as good as Defender of Oak Cliff “for quite some time I have blocked from my memory,” she said.
The quota was 20 blog posts per week plus content to fill two monthly print magazines.
“I failed miserably, but the Lawyer kept me on staff anyway,” she says.
Lawyer founder Rick Wammer Stone says bolstered the publication’s legitimacy.
“I felt like we were finally validated as a journalism operation because she knew what she was doing and still wanted to work with us,” he says.
She began covering Oak Cliff exclusively about 10 years ago, writing about everything from complicated zoning and land use cases to people’s pet ducks.
Oak Cliff is where Stone found her home and community, and she says it’s been a privilege to write about our neighborhood every working day for all these years.
She will remain an Oak Cliff resident, working remotely, so expect to continue to see her around the neighborhood.
“It was time to move on,” she says. “But I wouldn’t be where I am today without Advocate Media and the Oak Cliff neighborhood. They literally made my career possible and I am very grateful to them.
Christina Hugues Babba long moment Lawyer member of staff, returned to the company as editor just over a year ago. She lives in the Bishop Arts area and has written many Oak Cliff stories since her return; it will fill while the Lawyer seeks Stone’s replacement. You can reach Babb with story ideas or comments at [email protected].
“Our neighborhood is in good hands with Christina,” Stone says.
The Lawyer started a search for a new Oak Cliff editor. Please send your resume to the President and Editor-in-Chief of Advocate Media Jehadu Abshiro at [email protected]. (The Advocate is also looking for a full or part-time Commercial Account Executive in Oak Cliff, which involves helping businesses in the neighborhood find cost-effective ways to increase their visibility and sales. Contact us if this work also interests you.)
Some other parting sentiments from the stone:
On President and Editor-in-Chief Jehadu Abshiro: She has expanded our offerings to include Plano Magazinewith the Lawyer other publications in oak cliff, Lake Highlands, Preston Trough and Lakewood/East Dallas. She saw us through conversion to non-profit status in July 2021, identified new revenue streams and improved our design in print and online. She has a vision for the future of the organization and she has emphasized diversity in hiring. It’s not easy to be the queen of a mini media empire, but I encourage you to bet on the Lawyer because of Jehadu and her writing and sales staff. They go places.
On Rick Wamre: He and his wife, Sally, started this business 30 years ago to create free-for-all neighborhood publications that cover neighborhood news while providing an affordable place for local small businesses to advertise. The Wamres have my eternal gratitude and respect.
On the former Advocate editor Keri Mitchell: The founder of Dallas Free Pressan online publication for South and West Dallas, Keri was my first boss at Lawyer. I was hired as a part-time blogger and only went full-time because she was on maternity leave (thanks to Keri’s first daughter, Elliana). Keri stood up for me and pumped me up and gave me snacks and bought me presents and did all the Keri things for me.
On the Lawyer: The Lawyer is a gift for you from your neighbors. When you take a Lawyer magazine, click through our website, or open our e-newsletters, you read stories about your neighborhood written by your neighbors and supported by neighborhood businesses. Everyone who writes, edits, takes photos or creates graphic designs for our publications lives in the neighborhoods we cover.
I ask you to appreciate its rarity. Thousands of local news publications – especially small ones like ours – have closed in recent years. Against all odds, Advocate Media has found ways to thrive and grow, and the future looks extremely bright for publications.
To the Oak Cliff district: You all saved me. You gave me purpose and made me part of our community, and that is priceless. I always thought that I would know what to say when it was time to leave the Lawyer, but all I can think of is to tell you how grateful I am. Thanks a lot.
Stone graduated in 2003 from the University of Texas at the Austin School of Journalism and previously worked as a reporter for the San Antonio Express-News and the Beaumont Enterprise. She went to Duncanville High School and attended Dallas College Mountain View Campus.
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