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By ‘Putting Country Before Party,’ The Dallas Morning News Made A Historic Endorsement

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Bryan Snyder/Aaron P Bernstein
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Reuters

The Dallas Morning News made its name reporting the news, but this week, the paper made news. The editorial board endorsed Hillary Clinton – the first time it’s endorsed a Democrat for president in the general election since World War II.

Dallas Morning News Vice President Keven Ann Willey says choosing not to recommend Republican nominee Donald Trump was not as difficult as choosing to recommend Clinton.

Interview Highlights: Keven Ann Willey…

…On the distinction between the newsroom and the editorial board:

“There is a distinction, and the newsroom works very hard to cover events and stories as objectively as possible. The editorial board expresses the company’s corporate point of view on issues.

American journalism has had this tradition from the very beginning. In fact, newspapers, at the beginning of our country, were often house organs for political parties and only later in our generation, has it become more accepted to have an objective, focused newsroom separate from the editorial page.”   

…On the discussion among the editorial board:

“[We had multiple meetings where] we would hash this out and talk about what would be the right thing to do. We tried very hard to be true to the newspaper’s ideals and to do what’s responsible for America. We felt strongly it was important to put country above party.”  

…On whether she ever imagined the paper endorsing a Democrat:

“Who could have foreseen something like this? What is the saying? ‘Fact is always stranger than fiction’? I would never have been able to foresee this.”  

Keven Ann Willey is vice president and editorial page editor for the Dallas Morning News.

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and KERANews.org. She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.
Rick Holter is KERA's vice president of news. He oversees news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News has earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.