Independent Publisher

The Texas Tribune

Austin, Texas, United StatesFounded in 2008Trust Project news partner since

The Texas Tribune is a non-profit media organization that aims to provide readers with impartial, informative reporting on public policy, politics, government and other matters of statewide concern.

The Texas Tribune was founded in 2009 by John Thornton (a venture capitalist in Austin for nearly 20 years and public media advocate), Evan Smith (the veteran editor-in-chief of Texas Monthly and host of a weekly interview program on PBS stations), and Ross Ramsey (former owner and editor of Texas Weekly, a newsletter on politics and government, now rebranded as The Blast). 

  • Sewell ChanEditor-in-Chief
  • Ayan MittraSenior Managing Editor
  • Matthew WatkinsManaging Editor for News & Politics
  • Darla CameronManaging Editor for Visual Journalism
Texas Tribune

Best Practices Policies

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The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, digital-first media organization that says it is non-partisan, and aims to support and engage Texans about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. The Tribune covers a range of topics including public and higher education, health care, immigration, criminal justice, energy, poverty, the environment, water and transportation. It also covers the major candidates and campaigns for office, focusing less on the candidates than the issues. 


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The Texas Tribune’s stated mission is to provide readers with impartial, informative reporting, and with an outlet for civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government and other matters of statewide concern. If there is an error anywhere in its reporting, the Tribune is committed to correcting the information as quickly as possible and displaying the correction both on the article where it was made and a global list of corrections. 


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Ownership & Funding

As a non-profit, the Tribune does not have an owner and is instead governed by a volunteer board of directors charged with supporting its mission and in the importance of public service journalism. It says the board influences the direction of the organization, approves budgets and oversees the chief executive officer.

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Diverse Voices

The Texas Tribune says it is committed to including diverse sources in its coverage, incorporating voices that represent the state’s diversity in race, ethnicity, class, generation, gender and geography. It believes the better the Tribune can reflect Texas, the more nuanced its journalism will be. Similarly, it is committed to hiring practices that promote diversity and make Spanish-language skills a greater priority among newsroom staff. 

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The Texas Tribune is committed to accuracy in its reporting and welcomes information about errors or omissions that warrant correction or clarification. When it makes a mistake, the Tribune is committed to working quickly to fully address the error, correcting it within the story, detailing the error on the story page and adding it to a running list of Tribune corrections. 

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Unnamed Sources

The Tribune strives to identify all sources, its policy being to grant individuals anonymity only when the information is critical to the story, when the source is reliable and there is no other way to obtain the information. The Tribune will not say that a person declined comment if they are already quoted anonymously. The Tribune says that as much as possible, it will identify in its reporting any known bias of a source — anonymous sources should know that the reporter will share their identity with a senior editor, who will also keep that information confidential.

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The Trust Project

The Trust Project is an international consortium of news organizations building standards of transparency and working with technology platforms to affirm and amplify journalism’s commitment to transparency, accuracy, inclusion and fairness so that the public can make informed news choices. It was founded and is led by award-winning journalist Sally Lehrman.

Our Funders

Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist, was our original funder, through the Trustworthy Journalism Initiative of Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Google followed with their financial support. Our funders also have included Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Facebook. Funders. Trust Project policies and the Trust Indicators are shaped and enforced independently from our funding sources.

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