Changes in News begin today
In my 10 months as publisher of The Dallas Morning News , my team and i have spent many hours listening to readers to make sure we understand what our community wants from us.
Along with Editor Mike Wilson and other senior leaders, I met with heads of universities, health care leaders, CEOS of our region’s top companies, religious leaders, arts leaders, some of our greatest philanthropic stewards, and most important, our subscribers.
We asked three questions: What do you want us to cover? What do you value most about our coverage? Where can we improve? Once we asked, the hour passed quickly as the feedback was vast and helpful.
We also convened focus groups, surveyed 1,862 print and digital readers and pored over tens of thousands of data points that show us what you read digitally.
All of this work was aimed at helping us understand how to best serve you. Everyone knows local journalism is a tough business; just the other day, we reported that we laid off 43 people across The Dallas Morning News to reduce our costs and make room to invest for the future. It’s vitally important that we give you the newspaper you want if we are going to win this fight.
We were encouraged by your answers. We believe our fundamental mission is to provide news about our communities and our state, and you said you agree. You want breaking news. You want to know what local and state governments are up to. You want to know if kids are getting educated and roads are getting fixed. You want investigative stories.
You also want to know where to dine out and which concerts you shouldn’t miss. You want to read about Dirk and Dak and the sports star coming out of your local school.
Yes, you want a smart roundup of world and national news in your A section, and no, you don’t want us messing with your comics and puzzles.
You also told us what you need less of — lifestyle tips you can get on Youtube, stock price information you can get on your smartphones, and so on.
My biggest takeaway from all of this listening is that you root for our success and understand how a healthy newspaper strengthens the community. I also learned that while you value the role we play as watchdogs, you want us to shine a light on the people and organizations that are making this state and region great places to live.
So, what are we going to do with what you told us?
Let me take a moment to walk you through the changes you’ ll see in your newspaper beginning today.
Metro & Business
In the Sunday Business section, we’re adding numerous features based on your feedback. Among them:
An Economy & You page that will host consumeroriented writers such as Liz Weston and Michelle Singletary.
Expanded commodities and mutual funds listings with a focus on recapping the trading week. The popular Motley Fool column will round out this market coverage.
The Economic Snapshot graphic that now appears on Mondays will move into the Sunday section twice a month. It highlights trends in various segments of DFW’S vibrant economy.
As always, Sunday Business will feature columns by Mitchell Schnurman and Cheryl Hall, along with indepth staff reports on the local business community. You told us you are delighted to see personal finance expert Scott Burns come out of retirement; his column will appear twice a month.
On Mondays, we will not have a Business section, but will run breaking business stories on the front page or in Metro as news dictates.
Tuesday through Saturday, we will run business news in a combined Metro & Business section. With most readers telling us they are getting stock price information in real time, we’ ll eliminate daily stock tables, keeping our focus on local news that is original and cannot be found elsewhere.
Arts & Life
Our features pages will now focus on the subjects readers told us they care about most: deeply reported stories on arts and culture, food and things to do. We’ ll concentrate that coverage in three sections a week:
Sunday Arts & Life, the flagship section combining arts, books, travel and personality profiles. Sunday A&L has proved popular since we relaunched it in a new magazinestyle format last April.
Guide, our popular Friday tabloid section on how and where to spend your free time, from concerts to festivals to shopping. As always, you’ ll get our robust restaurant listings and expert reviews from our dining critic, Michalene Busico.
Wednesday Arts & Life will continue to focus on food. We’ ll feature cooking tips, recipes and cocktails, cookbook author interviews and ideas for holiday and everyday entertaining.
Fear not, Charlie Brown fans! You will still get your comics and puzzles every day, including Sundays when we run our color comics. On days when we don’t run a standalone features section — Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday — we will provide a separate section of comics, puzzles and daily features, as we do now on Fridays.
Monday through Saturday, we’ ll combine our editorial and Viewpoints pages into a single page each day, with a mix of editorials, opinion pieces and your letters. This page will appear on the inside back page of the A section.
Sunday Points will remain a standalone section, featuring the views of our editorial board, think pieces on issues of the day, political cartoons and interviews with newsmakers.
We’ve heard from many readers that the role of religion in society deserves more coverage. So we’re also launching a new initiative called Faith Forum, articles focusing on how faith informs major decisions in people’s lives. A panel of North Texas faith leaders has agreed to advise on topics and contribute articles. The essays will not appear on any particular schedule, but as news warrants.
Of course, all of these changes will be mirrored in the epaper, which is an online replica of the printed paper.
We believe in local journalism as deeply today as G.B. Dealey did when he founded The Dallas Morning News 134 years ago. You’ve shown you do, too. Thank you for your support, and please let us know what you think of the changes by emailing us at com[email protected]lasnews.com.