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Miles to Go: ‘Hello’ from new news guy in town

Jack Miles

JACK “MILES” VENTIMIGLIA/Executive Editor

“Hello.” I’m Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia, the new guy at The Richmond Daily News and The Excelsior Springs Daily Standard. Whoa! Daily News? Daily Standard? They’re twice-weekly and weekly, respectively, right? Sort of. Print is just one version; we also offer online news daily. We hope to improve on that point in the weeks ahead.

This should not suggest I’m a millennial who values online over print. Far from it. I took my first reporting job in 1980 and have worked as a print reporter and editor for almost my entire career at dailies and weeklies in Illinois, Kansas and Missouri. I served on the Missouri Press Association Board, as president of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Kansas City chapter and on various press committees. I have as much ink as blood in my veins.

I am concerned some online sites often focus on pandering for “clicks” and on redirection tactics versus providing information vital to community cohesion and a well-educated electorate.

There is nothing wrong with sites offering serious news and YouTube antics; I endorse Twiggy the Water Skiing Squirrel for president. But news sites should focus first on the Fourth Estate’s duty to inform. Real newspapers will lead with a political corruption story versus a story on Taylor Swift reinventing herself. 

Being a government watchdog can mean chasing tailpipes, should never mean being a lapdog and mostly means barking out loud to protect the public’s welfare. I value watchdog-based news that tells people how tax dollars are spent and whether politicians act in the public interest. Communicating such news, either in print or electronically, reaches a broader audience than is possible using one medium, and recognizes people seek news from various sources.

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