Robert Mong addresses the future of the “Dallas Morning News”

The editor of the “Dallas Morning News,” Robert Mong, lectured to a retired faculty group on Tuesday, March 17. The event, “The Dallas Morning News is faring better than you may think, but still fighting for its survival,” took place in the Meadows Museum. Mong discussed the future of the Dallas Morning News, especially the struggles its moving forward as the Internet replaces the newspaper industry.

For 36 years, Mong has worked for the Dallas Morning News, but will retire this year. Mong began his career with the paper in 1979 as an assistant city editor, and in 2001 starting serving as the editor. During his time, the Dallas Morning News won nine Pulitzer Prizes. Not only does Mong use his journalistic skills in his profession, but also for social service. Mong received the national Empathy Award from Volunteers of America in 2004, which acknowledges his work encouraging journalism skills that assist communities in becoming better places.

Mong opened the lecture with Winston Churchill’s famous quote: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Although Churchill’s circumstance was very different, Mong used the quote to show how the Dallas Morning News is changing its methods in order to survive.

“A good newspaper is a public trust”, said Mong, speaking of the paper’s dedication to their work and readers.

Amongst the digital revolution, the Dallas Morning New has been in survival mode for the last few years. Yet, the Dallas Morning News is not withering away by any means, by actively trying to reinvent its business model. Mong explains how over the last few years, the Dallas Morning News has made major changes in order to keep their legacy.

Some of these changes have included staff cuts, closings in certain city bureaus, and an increase in subscription costs. With print revenues declining, digital ads are not enough to support the paper. Mong also mentioned the efforts that the DMN is making to grow a digital presence by creating mobile apps and video production.

The DMN has expanded by starting and buying companies to stay afloat. These companies cover a variety of topics, which help the DMN reach a broader audience, especially a younger generation. The DMN has created Al Dia, a Spanish language newspaper serving the Dallas/Fort Worth Area, an events division for the paper called CrowdSource, a craft beer and cocktails blog, and revamped FD Magazine. Mong concluded the lecture by reverting back to the Churchill quote.

Amongst all these changes at the Dallas Morning News, it is the most stable it has been in years. The Dallas Morning News holds an importance in legacy media; especially in Texas, and despite all these changes, it has remained true to its values.

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