Dallas Morning News Cuts Community Pages and Lays Off Only Native Journalist

In an increasingly multicultural city, the now defunct section covered communities of color. Among those let go was Tommy Cummings, believed to be the only Native American on staff.

“The [neighborsgo] team covered our communities energetically and with an appreciation for what made each one special," Dallas Morning News Editor Mike Wilson said to the News staff via email. "The staff’s outstanding reporting on access to public records has been entered in prize competitions this year."
“The [neighborsgo] team covered our communities energetically and with an appreciation for what made each one special," Dallas Morning News Editor Mike Wilson said to the News staff via email. "The staff’s outstanding reporting on access to public records has been entered in prize competitions this year." Courtesy Journal-isms

Morning News Cuts 13 “neighborsgo” Jobs

The Dallas Morning News yesterday shut down its neighborsgo section covering community news and its FD magazine covering the Dallas area’s luxury market, cutting 13 neighborsgo jobs and six FD positions.

There is no pretending that this isn’t a loss to us and to our readers,” Publisher and CEO Jim Moroney said in an email to employees, Jeff Mosier reported in the Morning News.

Among those let go were Gary Piña, who is Hispanic and a past board member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and Tommy Cummings, Muscogee Creek, believed to be the only Native American on the staff.

Editor Mike Wilson did not respond to a request for comment, but Mosier wrote, “The News will continue to cover communities in North Texas as part of a new team of local reporters being formed as part of a newsroom reorganization.”  Some employees could return in different roles.

The Dallas area is increasingly multicultural, and the neighborsgo section covered communities of color in South Dallas.

Neighborsgo, which debuted in 2007, appeared Fridays in selected cities and neighborhoods for those who received The News at home,” Mosier reported. “Staffers in the seven sections covered community news from Lewisville to McKinney to southwest Dallas County. They edited reader-submitted news and photos.

“The staffers also reported on stories from the community, like the series of stories on the deadly tornadoes after Christmas. And they also created a project to measure the transparency of local governments. . . .”

One reader wrote on Facebook, “I will miss NeighborsGo. If I could, I would sit in my pajamas and read hyperlocal stories all dang day. Give me a story about some kid in my neighborhood rising to a challenge or overcoming obstacles and I’m ready to take on the world. Better than watching the presidential debates any day. . .”

Cummings messaged Journal-isms, “I was a digital editor. But I did do some reporting, mostly entertainment and sports. Yesterday, one of the Native stars from ‘The Revenant’ stopped by the office and [was] excited that another Native worked at The News. I told him, yeah, ‘I was the last of the Mohicans.’ ” The actor was Arthur Redcloud, the Pawnee who nursed Leonardo DiCaprio‘s character back to health.

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