Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Small daily in Ohio helps force resignation of the mayor

The latest report in Kirsten Hare's "Local Edition" series for The Poynter Institute focuses on the work of the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette in Ohio, which has five people in its newsroom and did stories that forced the resignation of Brian Kuhn as mayor of the town of 39,000, about 30 miles southeast of Columbus.

Reporter Spencer Remoquillo told Hare, “His wife was indicted for embezzling money and he was subsequently investigated. Kuhn faced minor felony charges relating to his taxes and was not forced out of office. Once his criminal case was closed, we requested all of the investigative records from the prosecutor’s office. We thought we’d have at least another week before the first print date, but a large metro paper had broken the story about Kuhn’s gambling the Sunday before ours was set to print. This development changed everything. We hunkered down in a room all week, finishing up interviews and cranking out stories as fast as we could write them to hit the daily deadlines for stories that could have taken us a couple days to write and perfect.”

Remoquillo concluded, “With a newsroom this small, you have to have a team of dedicated reporters who care about their work and the community. This project showed just how much we care about our craft and the importance of breaking big stories in small newsrooms.” The Eagle-Gazette is owned by Gannett Co. Inc.

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