Chief Executive Officer David Stoeffler

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Published Dec. 10, 2021

Dear Friends, 

I’ve always appreciated the depth and power of local reporting. But it was during my time as executive editor of the Springfield News-Leader that I came to truly appreciate its reach.

The way I saw my job, it wasn’t just to deliver the news that mattered, but to connect the people — and the conversations — that could change lives for the better.

In my time at the News-Leader, our team accomplished a great many things. The one I’m still most proud of — and the one that still means the most to me — is the two years of reporting that brought home to the community the profound challenges facing many of Springfield’s children: poverty, abuse, hunger, neglect, and lack of quality early childhood education. That series led to the creation of the Every Child Promise, a nonprofit that was dedicated to improving the quality and availability of pre-school education with the goal of helping every child in our community enter school ready to learn. 

The Every Child Promise couldn’t have happened just anywhere. It happened here because Springfield is an unusually caring community, and one uniquely focused on working together across the lines that traditionally divide us. 

I left Springfield in 2014 for a combination of professional and personal reasons. I didn’t think the direction of the for-profit news business was going to allow me to do the kinds of in-depth journalism that I like to do. And my mother was turning 90 with signals it was to be her final decade on Earth.

But unlike many other moves during my career, my affection for Springfield only grew stronger — and it turned out the feeling was mutual. In 2019, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks honored me by creating the David Stoeffler Every Child Promise Fund for Early Childhood Education, saying my “leadership in the newsroom helped transform a community.”

When Tom Carlson and other community members came calling earlier this year, asking me to return as Chief Executive Officer of the Daily Citizen, it turned out to be a no-brainer decision.

We are putting together a great team of news people and other professionals to launch a nonprofit news outlet accountable to no one except you, the reader. That means we’re free to make promises other media outlets can’t. At the Daily Citizen, we pledge to:

  • Reinvent local news by telling the stories of our community
  • Remain independent, impartial, fair, and unbiased in our reporting
  • Inspire you to take action on the issues that are important to you
  • Help you connect to the community and enjoy the arts, culture, outdoors and other aspects of life here

Good journalism brings issues to light, but great journalism brings communities together. My team and I are committed to delivering great journalism to you, the people of Springfield; in return, we ask only that you give us a chance to prove that nonprofit news is news worth supporting.

In the next couple of months, as we move toward our mid-February launch date, we’ll be introducing you to the staff and updating you on our progress. We invite you to be in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter; via email; and at the grocery store. If you see us around, say hello. We’re looking forward to meeting you.