New Star-Telegram opinion editor wants to spark civil conversation

Michael Ryan is the opinion editor of the Star-Telegram.
Michael Ryan is the opinion editor of the Star-Telegram.

A journalist with 35 years of experience and a desire to promote “civil and productive” discussion is the new opinion editor at the Star-Telegram and star-telegram.com.

Michael Ryan had been the editorial page editor of The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle since 2002. He previously worked as the editorial page editor of the Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, where he also worked as a reporter and columnist.

Colleen McCain Nelson, opinion editor for McClatchy, the Star-Telegram’s parent company, said Ryan will bring a new perspective and energy to the Star-Telegram’s opinion content.

“His commentary focuses on facts and thoughtful analysis that go beyond the partisan talking points that too often dominate today’s political and policy debates,” she said.

“He is an experienced opinion journalist who has shown an unwavering commitment to local journalism and civil public discourse,” Nelson said. “Under his leadership, the Star-Telegram editorial board will redouble its efforts to lead a community conversation focused on local and state issues that matter to readers.”

Ryan’s primary focus will be on Fort Worth, but he will also play a role in shaping opinion strategy and content in McClatchy’s Central Region.

Ryan said he feels blessed to be in his new role.

“Opinion writers have a great privilege and a big responsibility to inspire their audience,” he said. “It’s both reflecting the community and reflecting on it.

“With the news cycle spinning faster, and so much confusion out there, I think opinion journalism has never been more crucial,” he said. “We’re all trying to make sense of a chaotic world together, and I’m excited to help do that.”

Ryan stressed the importance of promoting “civil and productive” discussion.

“You don’t have to compromise your principles in order to be kind,” he said. “We’re not getting anywhere by yelling past each other.”

Ryan likes what he learned about Fort Worth as he prepared for his move.

“Do people in Fort Worth realize what a great reputation the city has? Everyone I’ve told about my moving here has raved about it – either because they’ve been here, have friends or family here, or have just heard great things about it,” he said. “Yeah, I’m excited.”

Ryan’s work has been recognized with numerous awards in Georgia and Kansas.