Dallas News Publisher Jim Moroney Talks to UT Students, Profs About the Future of His Paper

Categories: Media

On Thursday, Jim Moroney paid a visit to Austin, where he told an audience of University of Texas journalism students and professors: Only The Major Metropolitan Newspaper can preserve, protect and defend democracy ... or something like that. The Dallas Morning News's publisher spoke of rapidly shrinking ad revenues (half of them gone in just four years) and the roles of Texas Tribune and ProPublica (not-for-profits are fine, he said, but too small to "replicate and replace the scale of for-profit newspaper resources") and NPR and PBS ("political footballs") and television news outlets ("no local media company will step in and take the newspaper's place").

"I have done a whole lot of soul-searching about the business of news, especially that dimension of news we call accountability journalism, watchdog journalism, that journalism that Jefferson and Adams and others were contemplating when they included a promise of the freedom of press in the Bill of Rights," he says. "I have questioned whether this kind of news should be the province of for-profit media."

The video above is not Moroney's entire speech; it ends just as he's about to discuss life behind the pay wall. That bit can be found in the Knight Center for Journalism's wrap-up. But there is not an end to this story, not yet; I believe the word is "transition."

Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
13 comments
Howard
Howard

The DMN is basically a PR daily for the local business and retail real-estate developers. The sports section is the only part keeping it afloat, and actually has good reporting there, and I say this not being a sports fan at all, but can recognize this.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Ad revenues are plunging because ad buyers aren't total idiots.

DMN chose this path years ago when they began firing all the reporters and eliminating various daily and weekly sections of the paper. The things that people subscribe to see.

And whatever happened to editors? The mangled grammar and misspelled words make reading one of their two paragraph stories next to impossible.

Moroney and Co decided long ago that 7 figure annual bonuses were the only important thing.

I have no sympathy at all for their situation, and won't miss them at all when they finally go under. And those "non-profits" and papers such as the Observer will suddenly find themselves in greater demand.

Guest
Guest

And one of the ways the Morning News defended democracy in the past is to write editorials decrying the attempt to allow people to vote on the convention center hotel and the Trinity Toll Road (and withholding important information until after it didn't matter anymore so as to not let more people have an informed vote).

I still read the thing, but I'm amazed at how little actual news they put in there (or how much of it is not the entire story or is a story that was told in more detail somewhere else before it made it into the print version of the paper).

Democracy will survive even after the Morning News is gone.

GAA
GAA

When I was a young lad I purchased the Dallas Morning News daily.  Then I got into high school and stopped buying DMN because the articles had no depth.  They were mainstream and had no relevance to what I cared about.  There is only so much regurgitating of the Associated Press that can take place. 

OakParkStudio
OakParkStudio

It's always predictable to see this blog every time the issue of "The Death of the Metropolitan Daily" comes up.

What is it with all the "paper haters" who are cheering for it's demise? I would wager many don't take or read it.

There is room for many forms of communication...but it seems many are very vocal against print news to what end?

Let's leave the issue of the DMN aside...why would anyone cheer for less context and perspective and analysis rather that more?

If you don't like what you're watching, change the channel...don't cheer for the death of the messenger. You might not like it's message or form...but channeling internet pablum...in essence feeding yourself what you always find tasty...isn't the road to good health either.

Remember kids: It's all about a "Balanced Media Diet."

Gabe
Gabe

Wick Allison had something to say about this a couple of days ago: http://frontburner.dmagazine.c...

Essentially, he argues that the idealistic notion of newspaper as guardian of democracy needs to be thrown out, or at least scaled down. 

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

The concept of "balance" is false when one of the sides presented is clearly biased.  There is no "balance" when facts are concerned.  Opinion, yes, but not facts.

If I say that the traffic light is red, should I also say that it's green, just to be fair to the traffic light?

cp
cp

How quickly we forget the biased coverage of the Trinity River Project for the last, oh, 12 years. Are you going to tell m that the DMN was "preserving, protecting and defending democracy" when it pushed and pushed and pushed for the referendum, then defended the tollroad, even withheld news until after AHunt's initiative failed, news that, had it come to light during that election probably would dramatically changed the outcome?  

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

The Dallas Morning News is in decline because Jim Moroney publishes what benefits himself and his friends.  "preserve, protect and defend democracy" is bullshit he saves for talking with college students.  If the DMN would actually print balanced coverage of local issues more people would care what they have to say.  I read the DMN every day for over two decades and haven't touched it in about five years.

GAA
GAA

"Change the channel"- This is exactly why DMN is on the decline.  No one buys the paper because the lack of content.  I will pay for content.  Quality over quantity. 

richard schumacher
richard schumacher

Their shameless promotion of those self-serving real estate deals is exactly why I gave up the DMN.  If they confess their sins and beg forgiveness I might start buying it again.

Mike
Mike

If you have not touched it in 5 years, how do you have any opinion on its content?  If I had not watched TV in 5 years, would my opinion on Glee be worth anything?

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...