“In Their Own Words” Features Trif Alatzas

Date: November 30, 2016

Baltimore Sun Leader is a Champion for Integrity and Transparency

On a beautiful day overlooking the City of Baltimore, nearly 100 leaders, community activists and generous philanthropists gathered to hear from Baltimore native and award-winning reporter and editor, Trif Alatzas, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Baltimore Sun Media Group. Alatzas joined United Way of Central Maryland and guests for an exclusive “In Their Own Words” Breakfast Series presentation. The event was attended by United Way Tocqueville Society members and staff at The Center Club earlier this month.

United Way Board Chair Jim Wheeler welcomed attendees to the event and referenced Alatzas’ strong Baltimore roots.

Opening remarks were offered by Baltimore City District Court Judge Halle Weinstein. Weinstein has been instrumental in the development of the United Way Veterans Treatment Docket (VTD), which provides services and support to veterans charged with misdemeanor crimes. Judge Weinstein, herself a veteran, credited United Way for making the VTD possible, and encouraged any veterans in the audience to become involved.

We’re lucky to have a great Baltimore native and leader in charge of our hometown newspaper,” said Paul Tiburzi, Esq., in his introduction of Alatzas. Tiburzi is Managing Partner of DLA Piper, which generously sponsors “In Their Own Words.” Noting the ubiquity of social media news, he called The Baltimore Sun his “window on the world.”

Alatzas, who’s held a lifelong fascination with the news and reporters, worked his way up the ranks from interning at The Evening Sun to his current position, which combines leading the business side of the Baltimore Sun Media Group, and overseeing editorial content and policies for the company’s many print and online communication outlets.

Like United Way of Central Maryland, the Baltimore Sun Media Group has invested deeply in our community; serves Baltimore City and the surrounding counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard; and engenders trust and upholds integrity through transparency.

Trif Alatzas
Trif Alatzas, Publisher and Editor-In-Chief, The Baltimore Sun Media Group

Speaking about the evolution of the company, Alatzas said, “We decided to focus on what we do best,” and cited the 200 Baltimore Sun Media Group journalists who cover the region every day, balancing their in-depth coverage with context and history so that readers get the full story.

Alatzas also spoke to the “elephant in the room:” the shifting media landscape of today’s digital world, and how that’s expanded readership for The Sun and its affiliates in new and engaging ways. “Think about how much the world has changed: how you bank, shop, watch TV and movies, or check in at the airport. The Sun has weathered these changes, and is now publishing 24/7 through our digital and social media outlets.” Each month, more than five million people engage with a Baltimore Sun Media Group outlet. Stringent policies ensure that the same editorial standards are applied to the company’s digital communications, including its online newspapers and Twitter and Facebook feeds.

When asked when The Sun might print its last newspaper, Alatzas assured those in attendance that print readership remains strong, with nine out of ten households in the region receiving a printed Baltimore Sun Media Group product, and a healthy Sun readership of 700,000 on weekends.

In her closing remarks, Dana Gloor, Miles & Stockbridge P.C. Principal and United Way of Central Maryland Board Member said she will long remember Altazas’ description of “a beautiful protest” on the street outside his office days after the Baltimore unrest in the spring of 2015. Peaceful in nature, some national cable stations portrayed the event as threatening and violent. “That’s when it hit me—that was the difference between what they do, and what we do,” said Alatzas.

Alatzas spoke proudly of The Sun’s extensive coverage of the Baltimore unrest. He contrasted its balanced coverage—rich in contextual and historical background—with that of some national media outlets that presented a very different picture of the city.

“We hold our leaders and others accountable for their actions, and shine a light on very important issues. That means highlighting our many successes, but we’re also here to detail the deficiencies. The Sun’s motto is ‘Light for all.’ Shining a light on the issues is what we do.”

In addition to The Sun, other Baltimore Sun Media Group news outlets carrying this torch include The Aegis (Harford County), Capital Gazette (Anne Arundel County) and City Paper (Baltimore and surrounding areas), among others.

The Tocqueville Society’s next “In Their Own Words” Breakfast Series presentation in December will include a panel presentation moderated by WJZ TV anchor Denise Koch and feature college and university presidents Samuel Hoi, Maryland Institute College of Art; Jay Perman, M.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore; and David Wilson, Ed.D., Morgan State University. The panel will discuss “How the Power of an Anchor Institution Can Transform Communities.” For more information, or to find out how you can become a member of the Tocqueville Society and enjoy benefits such as exclusive networking, volunteer and family fun events, please contact Holly Hoey at holly.hoey@uwcm.org, 410 895 1406.

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