AUSTIN – Jim Moroney, publisher of The Dallas Morning News and chief executive officer of the A. H. Belo Corporation, is the recipient of the 2017 James Madison Award presented by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.
The prestigious award honors those who demonstrate outstanding commitment to upholding the principles of the First Amendment and open government. It will be presented Sept. 14 at the John Henry Faulk Awards Luncheon during the foundation’s Bernard and Audre Rapoport State Conference in Austin.
“Jim Moroney puts into practice every day the idea that the newspapers in America are the most important check against government misconduct or overreach,” said Paul Watler, past president of the FOI Foundation of Texas and chair of the foundation’s James Madison Award committee.
Moroney fights to keep newspapers relevant and economically viable despite the challenges of profound technological change and disfavor among high-level elected officials, Watler said.
“Jim has kept the faith, in good times and bad, that newspapers serve the public best by maintaining their independent voice and adhering to the values of the First Amendment,” he said.
Moroney is the chairman, president and chief executive officer of A. H. Belo Corporation, a position he has held since September 2013. He also serves as publisher and chief executive officer of The Dallas Morning News, as he has since June 2001.
"Some might say that with our current administration's war on the press, that we need to stand up and defend freedom of information now more than ever,” Moroney said.
“Frankly, with people around the world, who for years and decades have been living under regimes and governments that deny them basic liberties and that suppress organized opposition by preventing a free flow of information, the need to defend freedom of information has been necessary in the past, is necessary today, and sadly, but importantly, will be necessary in the future,” he added.
In 1993, Moroney was named president and general manager of KOTV in Tulsa, and in 1997 he was promoted to president/Television Group, assuming responsibility for the operations of all of Belo’s television stations in 15 markets across the United States. In 1998, he was named executive vice president of Belo, overseeing finance, treasury and investor relations. Moroney was president of Belo Interactive, Inc. from its formation in May 1999 until June 2001.
He presently serves on the boards of The Associated Press; the News Media Alliance; The Dallas Foundation, for which he chairs the board of governors; the State Fair of Texas; the Advisory Board of the College of Communications at the University of Texas; and the Bishop's Finance Council of the Diocese of Dallas.
Since 1987, the FOI Foundation’s James Madison Award has honored journalists, attorneys, elected officials and vigilant citizens who protect the public’s right to know. A complete list of past award recipients can be found at www.foift.org.
For more information on FOIFT’s state conference go to www.foift.org or call 512-377-1575.