When I started at the Springfield Daily Citizen, the first piece published with my name on it contained the following paragraph:
“We have a common goal, and that’s to deliver the most crucial information that you need to have at your fingertips when it comes to living, working and maximizing your time in Springfield, Missouri,” I wrote on Feb. 10, 2022.
It still holds. Now more than ever.
Hi, I’m Rance Burger. I’m about to become the managing editor of the Springfield Daily Citizen.
What is a managing editor? Here at the Daily Citizen, it’s a person who makes sure our team of seven staff journalists and multiple freelance contributors have the resources they need to provide daily news, coverage with depth and stories looking into the lives of Springfieldians. I work with Chief Executive Officer David Stoeffler, who helps provide overall direction for our news coverage and leads the entire 13-member Daily Citizen team to fulfill its mission to inform the community and be a catalyst for good.
While I expect to occasionally eliminate some comma splices and fix numerical agreements, much of what I’m about to do involves making sure we ask the difficult questions, making sure we paint the entire picture and making sure we don’t settle for average just to get the story out the door (or on the website) before we move on to the next matter.
It’s not entirely a celebration for me. I’ll miss working for Brittany Meiling very much, but I have complete understanding and support for her as she moves on to another chapter in her life story. Her influence, stylings and energy will continue at the Springfield Daily Citizen for years to come. There’s no other way to say it: she was exactly the editor we needed to start turning out award-winning news stories in our first year.
We’re different here at the Daily Citizen, and that’s what drove me to want to work here in the first place. We don’t do mediocre. We don’t accept “just fine.” We set out to deliver smarter, better coverage of Springfield every day.
It’s been a winding journey for me to get here. I have been a professional journalist for 16 years, starting before I graduated from Mizzou. I’ve worked eight different jobs in six different Missouri newsrooms. I got out of the business all together at one point, but then I took some freelance work, and freelance work turned into me becoming the editor of the Christian County Headliner News in Ozark, the last stop on the path that brought me here.
The challenges have been many, but so have the blessings, the opportunities and the laughs. Yes, sometimes I do manage to have fun at work.
Wherever I have worked, I held fast to the belief that coverage of local government is the basic foundation upon which all journalism is built. If your media outlet can’t do a fair and even-handed job telling people what’s happening in their city halls and county courthouses, what business does it have providing information on anything else? That’s why I’m excited to tell you we’ve already found the Springfield Daily Citizen’s next local government reporter.
Jack McGee moves over from his assignments on the business beat to cover government for the Daily Citizen. His responsibilities include Springfield city government, Greene County government, Springfield City Utilities and everything that falls under those umbrellas. It’s a big job and an important job. I also have full confidence Jack is ready to be great at it.
“I’ve always enjoyed exploring the inner workings of local government and where tax money is being spent,” McGee said. “Reporting on it will give me the opportunity to do so and help keep our readers informed on the goings-on in their community.”
McGee is a Missouri State University graduate who holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in political science. He joined us here at the Daily Citizen as a limited term employee, coming off of a stint working for documentary film company Carbon Trace Productions. He also brought a wealth of knowledge (an appetite, if you will) from working in the Springfield restaurant business.
“During my time at the Daily Citizen, you’ve probably noticed my byline on a variety of different stories, with topics ranging from elections to restaurants to ice cubes,” McGee said. “I’ve had the opportunity to explore many different beats in such a short amount of time. I wouldn’t trade that for anything, but now I’m ready to turn my focus to the local government.”
While Jack McGee and I grow into our new assignments, the Daily Citizen will continue to grow. We’ll be hiring a business reporter (see information here with a link to the job description), and we’ll continue doing the work our readers have come to expect from us over the past 14 months.