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

Jack Miles


“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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