October 7, 2016

Days after journalists at The Dallas Morning News covered a protest that turned deadly for five police officers, those journalists sat down to talk about that night.

At first, editors thought the recordings would be a good way to keep the details of that night fresh for covering future tragedies.

“We really didn’t have a plan for what to do with it,” said Robyn Tomlin, managing editor, in an email. “But as we watched the videos, we discovered that our journalists’ stories from that night were really compelling and powerful. They told a different side of the story.”

They pulled the interviews together into an internal mini-documentary and shared it with staff and their board. And everyone who saw it, Tomlin said, thought more people should see it, too. So on Friday, three months after that deadly night, they’re sharing the video with their audience.

The goal, Tomlin said, isn’t to brag about their coverage.

“It’s really just to reflect for a moment on that terrible event that changed our community through the eyes of the journalists who were on the ground covering it that night.”

During a visit with outgoing Dallas Police Chief David Brown, Morning News Editor Mike Wilson played the video for him, said David Duitch, the director of video who led efforts to gather the journalists’ memories.

“Brown watched quietly,” Duitch said via email, “and when the video was over, he pushed back in his chair and was silent for a moment. ‘Very powerful,’ he said.”

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Kristen Hare covers the people and business of local news and is the editor of Locally at Poynter. She previously worked as a staff writer…
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