Dallas Morning News 'paid a price' for its Hillary Clinton endorsement

When The Dallas Morning News endorsed Hillary Clinton for president earlier this month, it broke a 75-year streak of not endorsing a Democrat.

The editorial drew pushback from many readers in Texas, a Republican-dominated state that hasn't voted for a Democrat since Jimmy Carter in 1976. A sampling of the comments underneath the endorsement (more than 3,500) gives some idea of the magnitude of the criticism. Many readers vowed to unsubscribe, although some praised the newspaper for taking a stand for what it called the only "serious candidate on the presidential ballot."

RELATED: Endorsements: Why do news organizations even bother?

But it also paid financially for its decision to endorse Clinton. Although he declined to say how many readers cancelled their subscriptions, Dallas Morning News Editor Mike Wilson acknowledged the endorsement came with a price tag.

"Certainly we've paid a price for our presidential recommendation, but then, we write our editorials based on principle, and sometimes principle comes at a cost," Wilson said in an email to Poynter. "I've had a lot of conversations with readers lately, and I respect their views and their right to disagree with us. The most important thing to us is that they vote, even if it's not for our favorite candidate, because democracy doesn't work if people don't vote."

That's a sentiment Wilson expressed to protesters in person when they gathered outside The Dallas Morning News to complain about the newspaper's decision. Last week, Wilson left his office at the Morning News to address the protesters directly and shared his account of the exchange on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/mWilstory/status/776097216448442369

https://twitter.com/mWilstory/status/776097419322720257

https://twitter.com/mWilstory/status/776097667524927488

https://twitter.com/mWilstory/status/776097945972150272

https://twitter.com/mWilstory/status/776098111039033349

https://twitter.com/mWilstory/status/776098295730941952

https://twitter.com/mWilstory/status/776098518888910848

https://twitter.com/mWilstory/status/776098991935107073

https://twitter.com/mWilstory/status/776099123954974720

Wilson says he hopes the readers who canceled their subscriptions will eventually return.

"I believe The Dallas Morning News offers a lot of value to readers — even when they disagree with a particular editorial view."

  • Profile picture for user bmullin

    Benjamin Mullin

    Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics.

Comments

Related News

Email IconGroup 3Facebook IconLinkedIn IconsearchGroupTwitter IconGroup 2YouTube Icon