Some Things Will Not Change

Amid in­dus­try uncer­tainty, our val­ues — and our mis­sion — will stand firm

The Dallas Morning News - - World / From The Front Page -

To­day, read­ers of The Dal­las Morn­ing News will no­tice sub­stan­tial changes to the print edi­tion of the news­pa­per. These changes are out­lined by our pub­lisher, Grant Moise, else­where in the paper. But amid the newly re­made print edi­tion of this news­pa­per, we want to note what is not chang­ing: Our val­ues and our fo­cus on serv­ing the com­mu­nity that we live in, that reads us and that is en­gaged in im­prov­ing the lives of those around us.

It’s hard to write about the val­ues of a news­pa­per with­out first tak­ing stock of the value propo­si­tion of jour­nal­ism in Amer­ica. So let us start with a sense of pur­pose. A news­pa­per has a unique op­por­tu­nity to help a com­mu­nity en­gage in a ro­bust con­ver­sa­tion with it­self and about it­self. With­out a news­pa­per that cov­ers a city’s gov­ern­ment, that writes about its prob­lems, that probes so­lu­tions, and that brings to a mass au­di­ence de­tails about its peo­ple, it is ex­ceed­ingly dif­fi­cult for a com­mu­nity to get a sense of where it is headed and why.

News­pa­pers aren’t the only in­sti­tu­tions crit­i­cal to a com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ing a deep un­der­stand­ing of it­self, of course. But news­pa­pers are among the few in­sti­tu­tions that en­able a com­mu­nity to get in­for­ma­tion on a daily ba­sis about the is­sues cours­ing through its streets. To that end, this ed­i­to­rial page re­mains com­mit­ted to a core set of val­ues. Those val­ues start with the prin­ci­ples ar­tic­u­lated so well in what we call “The Rock of Truth,” that slab af­fixed to the front of this paper’s for­mer build­ing on Young Street and that has been re­cre­ated in the lobby of our new head­quar­ters on Com­merce Street.

The Rock of Truth states plainly the im­ por­tance of build­ing the news upon “truth and right­eous­ness” as well as “fair­ness and in­tegrity” and the “right of the peo­ple to get from the news­pa­per both sides of ev­ery im­por­tant ques­tion.”

To help ac­com­plish this, the ed­i­to­rial page of this news­pa­per will re­main fo­cused on key is­sues and sto­ries that help en­gage our com­mu­nity in crit­i­cal de­bates about our path for­ward. We’ve al­ways be­lieved that peo­ple mat­ter and that in­di­vid­ual lib­erty mat­ters, so we have long sup­ported the rights of peo­ple to pur­sue their own des­tinies. We’ve op­posed bar­ri­ers to the hopes and dreams of ev­ery per­son, and have long rec­og­nized that pub­lic pol­icy can just as eas­ily in­hibit some­one’s op­por­tu­ni­ties as it can al­le­vi­ate the ill it is aimed at re­solv­ing.

In the com­ing year, we will con­tinue to fo­cus on south­ern Dal­las. We’ve also launched three ar­eas of en­gage­ment that we will ad­vance in the com­ing year. These in­clude the fight against the scourge of hu­man traf­fick­ing, a spe­cific fo­cus on what’s re­quired of pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion when teach­ing stu­dents in poverty, and a push to en­cour­age more mem­bers of our com­mu­nity to be civi­cally en­gaged, to vote, to par­tic­i­pate in pub­lic de­bate and to find ways to serve in the com­mu­nity.

By its na­ture, an ed­i­to­rial page writes about a lot of tough is­sues that are very much in the pub­lic eye and open for de­bate. We’ll never shy away from such de­bate, and we hope that one last thing will not change ei­ther: that read­ers re­main en­gaged with us as we con­trib­ute to the cru­cial de­bates fac­ing our com­mu­nity.

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