To say I’m looking forward to what the future holds for the Daily Citizen (and myself) is an understatement. Springfield is growing in more ways than one, and so is its newest nonprofit news publication.
I hope to grow too, and as your newest business and economic development reporter, there will be plenty of opportunities to do so.
I first joined the Daily Citizen as a part-timer after my May 2022 graduation, when I completed my Bachelor of Science degree at Missouri State University. I majored in journalism and minored in political science. Before that, I graduated high school in Willard, where I lived for the first 18 years of my life with my parents Becky and Don, and my sister Mary Alice, who have been encouraging and supportive voices my entire life.
Both my major and minor came in handy pretty much instantly, as I’ve primarily focused on political coverage up to this point. If you recognize my byline, there’s a good chance you’ve read stories on the statehouse races, whether for the primaries or the Nov. 8 general election.
It’s been stressful, interesting and fun, but most importantly, it has helped me grow.
The Daily Citizen offered me a full-time job, and I start today.
A new beat at the Citizen: Business news for the public, consumers and employees
As election season comes to a close, you’ll see me pivot to a different beat: business and economic development, a role I’m excited to grow into. I’ll be coached along the way by Managing Editor Brittany Meiling, a former business journalist herself.
I’ll cover the goings-on of the local economy, local businesses and the local workforce from the perspective of the general public, the consumer and employees. I’ll preview new businesses, explore new developments and keep up with workforce trends and databases that indicate the direction of the Springfield economy, among the many other layers under the very wide-ranging topic of business and economic development.
I’ll still occasionally get to chat with political candidates/incumbents/soon-to-be politicians that have come to recognize me. And I may find myself on assignments in unfamiliar territory, and further have the opportunity to expand my experiences and get better at what I do.
With the team I’m surrounded by at the Daily Citizen, I will have plenty of direction and inspiration. I want to do my part to encourage discourse and embolden our readers and Springfield citizens to take action in addressing issues that they care about.
If I’m not writing about something you care about, tell me what you want to see or what you think needs to be covered. I take all feedback seriously and want to be available to receive it with thoughtful consideration and new ideas. (Link to my email here)
With a background in food and an education in news, years of juggling jobs culminated in my new position
Outside of the past five months I’ve spent with the Daily Citizen, my résumé in media is, hopefully understandably, minimal. At various times throughout college, I interned for the local documentary film company Carbon Trace Productions and worked for over a year as a reporter for MSU’s student-led newspaper, The Standard. Concurrently, I worked full time in the restaurant industry, in addition to a few other jobs to put me through college.
I’m used to constantly being on my feet, so the meetings, the phone calls, and the office were initially a challenging transition, but one I am beginning to feel more comfortable with. However, I don’t want to get too comfortable, because then I will stop challenging myself to improve. I’ll find ways to get on my feet, whether it’s deliberately choosing to meet my interviewees in person instead of Zoom or watching Springfield grow — not from behind my desk, but from behind a steering wheel. I also hope the stories I pursue keep me on my feet metaphorically — and for your sake, my reporting and writing do the same for you.
I am not the most experienced person CEO David Stoeffler and Managing Editor Brittany Meiling could have brought on to report on this crucial beat. But I am beyond honored and grateful they are giving me the opportunity to kickstart my career where I grew up. I hope you will give me the same chance they gave me. I aim to deliver accurate, unbiased and informative news to equip you to make the best decisions for yourself, your family and the Springfield community.
As I was wrapping up my degree, I had doubts that Springfield was the place to start a career in journalism. I still have concerns about the industry as a whole.
“The world is dark and scary and full of creepy clown dentists,” a character from the show “Bojack Horseman” says in season four. “But we’ve gotta push through and hope there’s better stuff ahead.”
It does indeed appear to be a dark and scary and unpredictable path ahead for many news organizations. Still, I have faith the Daily Citizen is among the new wave of publications and other media operations that have and will continue to deliver their worth — and hopefully restore faith in the fourth pillar of democracy.
The Daily Citizen has proven some of my doubts very wrong and came along at just the right time for me and, perhaps, for Springfield.