Monday, March 7, 2011 - Leigh Morgan

Leigh Morgan -

I feel that the Texas Tribune is a credible news source and their website is proof. Their content is backed with photos and documents. Their authority is clear, allowing anyone to easily contact the writers or even the founders of the website. has a professional appearance and is held to the same standard as print newspapers.

The content of the website supports its credibility. The page is complete, displaying its Texas Tribune title beside the website’s most recent update, March 2, 2011. The website offers its history under the about me section, having launched on November 3, 2009. The intended audience is Texans concerned with news. Some of the editor’s topics of focus include: the Texas-Mexico border, higher education and the 2011 budget shortfall. There is not any obvious slant or bias to the information presented. The website’s content links to other information, mostly through internal links, which all work properly. Other credible websites make note of the Texas Tribune, including: The New York Times, the Brownsville Herald and Editor & Publisher magazine.

The Texas Tribune was co-founded by Evan Smith, John Thornton and Ross Ramsey, offering more of their history under the about me section. Smith serves as the CEO and editor in chief, after spending eighteen years with Texas Monthly. Thornton is the company’s chairman, known for his work as a venture capitalist in Austin for the past twenty years. Ramsey is the Tribune’s managing editor, who previously owned and edit Texas Weekly, the state’s premier newsletter on government and politics. Texas Weekly now contributes to the Texas Tribune’s resources. The website offers a clear way of contacting these founders by e-mail or phone, along with the staff writers, which includes short biographies. Each article allows space for reader comment and interactivity. In the about me section, the website clearly defines itself as a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization supported by contributions, major gifts, corporate sponsorships and foundation grants. The domain is a .org, which is fitting, being a non-profit news organization. The site is accurate, referencing official documents and people. There is not a non-web version of this site.

The website’s appearance is professional looking – free of grammar, spelling and punctuation problems. The writing style is unbiased and appropriate for a news source. The images on the site directly relate to the content and appear to be unedited. I was already familiar with the site and met some of the writers during Mass Comm Week on campus, but the Texas Tribune website comes up very quickly in Google. Advertisements are clearly marked, saying ‘The Tribune thanks our supporting sponsors’. Looking at the source code of the site, I can tell that it has a complex structure, but do not feel that anything changes my perception that this site is credible.

Receiving news from online sources is more relevant today than ever before. is at the forefront of this idea, acting solely online to offer Texans credible, relevant news.

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