The Dallas Morning News Adds Public Editor to Organization, Takes Significant Steps to Reinforce Reader Trust, Establish Transparency

April 30, 2024 at 1:40 PM EDT
New position and introduction of ‘Why This Story Matters’ aimed at narrowing the perceived divide between readers and editors

DALLAS, April 30, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- DallasNews Corporation (Nasdaq: DALN) and The Dallas Morning News announced today a bold initiative to provide subscribers and readers enhanced insight into the newspaper’s award-winning journalism. Designed to expand trust and confidence in The News’ journalistic offerings, these changes bolster the paper’s commitment to transparency and its mission to deliver accurate and impactful news coverage for North Texas.

Initiative Elements
Beginning May 1, 2024, Stephen Buckley, a Duke University journalism professor with an extensive background as an editor and reporter, will assume the public editor position at The News. This pivotal role will help connect readers and the newsroom and explain certain editorial decisions.

Buckley will work outside the newsroom’s organizational structure and report directly to Grant Moise, The News’ publisher and chief executive officer of its parent company.

In a related move, The News is introducing “Why This Story Matters,” a brief feature accompanying its enterprise journalism. “Why This Story Matters” provides essential, explanatory context on why stories were chosen, reported and published.

The News already offers a monthly “Inside the Newsroom” email newsletter from executive editor Katrice Hardy. The newsletter provides insight into the newsroom’s decision-making and introduces readers to the newsroom’s staff.

Trust in Media Dropping
A 2023 Gallup poll shows the public’s recent confidence in the United States mass media matches a record low. Only 32 percent of those surveyed trust mass media “a great deal” or “a fair amount,” with 39 percent indicating they have “none at all.”

The News is no longer content to play defense with the issue of reader trust and assurance,” Moise said. “We have a 140-year legacy of exceptional journalism and seek to continue that with more transparency in our decisions. We want to be seen as a leader in public trust and double down on our efforts to be transparent with our readers.”

Public Editor Named
As public editor, Buckley will seek to answer the “why” behind The News’ handling of a story or an issue using his expertise and experience.

Through active reader engagement and a regular column, Buckley will use an independent lens to help provide readers with understanding and clarity and hold The News accountable for adhering to its high standards. Buckley will be an observer and advocate while informing readers how The News reported controversial topics and issues as they arise.

The Dallas Morning News has taken a bold step in adding this position, a unique move among major daily newspapers,” observed Buckley. “In this business, accountability and truth are paramount. And ultimately, the benefits of high-quality journalism extend to all North Texas and beyond.”

With a distinguished 35-year domestic and international journalism career, Buckley is the former dean of the Poynter Institute, a world-renowned school for journalists in Florida. He currently serves as a professor of the practice of journalism and public policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke, where he received his undergraduate degree.

Buckley’s introductory column will appear in The Dallas Morning News and online on Sunday, May 12, 2024. He can be reached via

‘Why This Story Matters’
Starting immediately, The News will augment many of its articles with a short, descriptive note to engender more trust with readers and the community. These synopses will appear on all election-related and enterprise pieces — the newsroom’s explanatory and most ambitious, distinctive journalism. 

“This is our chance to talk directly to the reader about why a decision was made to publish a particular story,” said Katrice Hardy, The News’ executive editor. “It offers our readers more perspective about our news judgment — especially as we head into the busy local, state and national election cycles. And our audience has indicated this is something they want.”

About DallasNews Corporation

DallasNews Corporation is the Dallas-based holding company of The Dallas Morning News and Medium Giant. The Dallas Morning News is Texas’ leading daily newspaper with an excellent journalistic reputation, intense regional focus and close community ties. With offices in Dallas and Tulsa, Medium Giant is a full-service advertising agency dedicated to designing, creating and delivering stories that drive customers to act. For additional information, visit or email

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