December 2, 2020
Members Only

Mike Orren of The Dallas Morning News on The Pivotal Year for Local Media


Jacob Cohen Donnelly: You’re the first person from a local newspaper to join the show, which I’m incredibly excited about because I’ve never actually worked for a local publication. I want to learn more about how the whole thing works, but before we do, as someone who graduated with a degree in political science, I wanted to learn more about how you, who also graduated with a degree in political science, found your way to being the chief product officer at the Dallas Morning News.

Mike Oren: That is a long and circuitous story. I actually, very early on, thought I wanted to be a newspaperman. I actually ran the student newspaper at my high school for two years, managed to turn it profitable enough that we bought early Fishbowl Max for all the classrooms in the school. Then accidentally blew it up when we tried to address some pretty serious racial issues in our school and it led to a mini-riot. At that point, I swore off media, which is how I wound up in PolySci at Duke. I literally wasn’t on campus six months before I got dragged into a student publication and then wound up running the publishing board at Duke, which is everything but the Daily Paper.

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