Linda Stewart Ball left The Dallas Morning News in 2006, and she couldn't be professionally happier. "I'm extremely satisfied," says Ball, forty-seven, a reporter at the paper for fourteen years who accepted a buyout and became a freelance writer. "I love being my own boss." Reese Dunklin, who received a 2004 Livingston Award for Young Journalists, chose not to take the buyout. At thirty-three, Dunklin wants to remain at the Morning News but concedes he is worried about the paper's future. "At times you wonder where it's all headed," he says, "because you sense this air of desperation."