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Longtime El Paso Times Executive Editor Bob Moore Exits To Save Reporting Jobs

Former El Paso Times executive editor, Bob Moore
Ruben R. Ramirez/El Paso Times
Former El Paso Times executive editor, Bob Moore

From Texas Standard:

For the majority of the past three decades, most recently at the helm of the El Paso Times, newspaperman  Bob Moore has shaken things up. And for those who do not believe in government transparency, his bite has proven worse than his roar.


In 2011, Moore led an investigation into a district-wide cheating scheme at El PasoISDthat denied countless kids a proper education. His columns are credited with helping El Paso gain recognition as more than just a border city. Moore's reporting has earned him and the paper dozens of awards and honors, to say nothing of his mentorship of young journalists.When Moore was faced with yet another round of substantial cuts to the newspaper’s budget, he made a tough decision: quit to save reporting jobs. Though his upcoming departure may solve the paper’s funding woes for the foreseeable future, his case is just one example of a larger issue impacting local journalism everywhere.

In addition to covering the border community of 800,000 people, the  El Paso Times also reports on 1.5 million people in Ciudad Juárez in Mexico and 200,000 people in southern New Mexico. Despite such a large audience, Moore says the Times’ newsroom staff is less than two dozen people. At its peak, he says the newsroom had over 80 people, but after his departure and the departure of one other journalist, laid off this week, that number will go down to 21.

Moore cites a failing business model as the main driver behind funding changes at the local level. He says that at a time when news is increasingly consumed online, print advertisements no longer pay the bills. He says that without local journalism, much-needed coverage of local events like school board meetings or city council meetings will disappear.

“That's the real threat, [because] in a place like El Paso, where we've had a sad history of poor governance and corruption, I think there's a real worry within the community that we can revert back to that as the local media institutions decline,” Moore said.

Written by Rachel Zein.

Copyright 2020 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.

Rhonda is the newest member of the KUT News team, joining in late 2013 as producer for KUT's new daily news program, The Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.