Committed to focusing on the community

Fines Massey

Fines Massey


When I became editor of the Daily Record nearly seven months ago, I did so with a renewed effort and promise to the readers to make sure that our focus was on the community and local news. While we’ve made huge changes throughout the newspaper, including dropping the national and state newswire agency Associated Press, one place that has been noticeably lacking in our pursuit of everything local is the Opinion section in the weekend edition.

For years (at least the seven years that I’ve been with the newspaper but probably many more), the newspaper has run basically the same format that put an emphasis on national politics, including two nationally syndicated columnists and a political cartoon about national topics. While we’re not going to completely throw away that format (check page 5A for our regular syndicated columnists and political cartoon), we’re going to put the focus of the section on where it belongs: on the community. When people open up the Opinion section of the Daily Record on Saturday morning, we want them to learn something about the community. We don’t want them to flip to the Opinion section and see the same things that talking heads on every cable station are saying day in and day out. Through 24-hour news stations, social media and partisan websites, we are inundated with that kind of information all week. What you come to the Daily Record for (we hope) is opinions and insights on things that have a more major impact on your daily life — things that are literally happening in our backyards and on main street.

Although we’re making the changes, I want all you readers to remember that this is your community newspaper and none of these changes will be possible without you. As you can see from the layout of this page, we want to make the community’s opinions the star of the section. No longer will Letters to the Editor be placed on the second page. We’re putting it up front, so we’re looking to the readers to let us know what they think about what is going on in the community. Have a concern, a question or a compliment? Why not voice it on the Opinion page? The exact instructions on how to get us your letter and how to be published are at the bottom of this page.

We’re also looking for some new talent to help us round out the page. While we have two great columnists in Joan Hart and Gary Sozniecki, there’s always room for more. We would love to have someone write a weekly column about local politics. We would also like to see a return to a locally-themed political cartoon. Anyone who is interested in either position can email a resume and samples to

Finally, I want to reiterate that this is the community’s paper. Sure, we’re trying to make some changes to improve the newspaper and make it a better product. But, as we found out earlier this summer, not all changes are as good when put into practice as they sound in an editorial meeting. We’d love to hear from you about how you feel about the new layout and focus.


The Lebanon Daily Record

100 E. Commercial St.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-9131