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Publisher’s note: Changing of the guard

Monday, February 5, 2018 by Mike Clark-Madison

Hi y’all! 

My time as interim publisher here at the Monitor is coming to a close. In my previous roles, I have always found such value in the coverage that this publication provides and I am grateful that I had a chance to contribute to this organization. A big thank you to all the writers that make us what we are and to the subscribers that read us and support our mission. I have enjoyed my time here, but I am so pleased to pass the baton to Mike Clark-Madison.  

– Ashley Fisher 

Good morning, friends!

My name is Mike Clark-Madison and I’m the incoming publisher here at the Austin Monitor.

I think many of you may know me, but for the record: I started my journalism career in high school more than 30 years ago. I covered sports, entertainment, business and tech, but mostly local news and politics, starting back home in California before relocating to Austin in 1988. My media gigs here were dominated by The Austin Chronicle, where I wrote for 15 years and ended up as the city editor and lead City Hall reporter, working alongside a larger press corps than seen now, including In Fact Daily, which is the ancestor of the Monitor.

Back in 2005, seeing the writing on the wall for print media, I joined then-TateAustin, now Hahn Public, and spent 13 years on that side of the aisle, primarily still working local politics and policy with the sorts of organizations and candidates that regularly appear in these digital pages. But that side of the business is changing too, with social sharing and digital marketing and direct-to-consumer brand journalism. Those are not bad things to be good at, and they’re here to stay for all media. But it was a good juncture to return to being part of local news excellence. So here I am.

The kind of local news that Austin needs is sometimes “watchdog” but also often explanatory service journalism. Engaged citizens need and want info that will help them understand this complicated and constantly changing city, where it’s been and where it’s going, how decisions get made and why we do some odd things. As someone who’s become a professional Austinite over the decades, I can add some value there. There are also ways for an outlet like the Monitor, as a nonprofit, to build capacity among those same citizens so they can help tell these stories themselves.

Key word there is nonprofit: We’re committed to a public mission, and I’m committed to being resourceful and helping the Monitor grow without making it lose its cool or its soul. As we go along, make sure to let me know how we’re doing. I’m looking forward to being an official part of the Monitor team and being a part of its bright future.

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