OKLAHOMA CITY – Patrick B. McGuigan, an award-winning journalist based in Oklahoma, says he plans to focus his energy on state and community journalism. He is remaining editor of CapitolBeatOK.com, the online news service he founded in 2009, with offices at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City.
McGuigan is leaving the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity and the Watchdog.org news organization, with which he was affiliated in 2011.
“I am devoting my time to The City Sentinel and CapitolBeatOK.com, with the intention of remaining a state/local focused journalist,” he said.
McGuigan appears every weekend on News9’s Capitol Report with Alex Cameron, and is co-host of KOKC Radio’s “Mitchell in the Morning” every Monday. His essays on public policy appear monthly in Perspective Magazine, publication of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.
He is a occasional analyst, as well, for The Oklahoma Network, the state’s public broadcasting television system.
Annoucing McGuigan's resignation from the Watchdog.org network, Franklin Center vice president Will Swaim said Pat “was present almost from the beginning of the Franklin Center, and present too for much of recent conservative history. We've come to rely on him for first-person accounts of the Reagan revolution. His stories from that era reveal not just the humanity of participants on all sides of the public policy debate, but Pat's own humanity: his ability to see his political opponents as honorable and intelligent people is a rare gift. We could use more of that now.”
McGuigan said, “I remain a friend of the Franklin Center and the Watchdog.org conglomeration, its leadership and the excellent reporting staff. Our country and our profession need the work they do every day, more than ever.”
McGuigan said he may form an independent 501 c 3 tax-exempt organization to support the CapitolBeatOK.com operation, or seek a home for the online news service in an existing non-profit.
In addition to his continued work online, McGuigan announced he is publisher of The City Sentinel newspaper, effective immediately. Appealing for financial support from the MidTown/MidCity community and others interested in community journalism, he said, “I hope readers will consider the role of this independent news source and information forum in the heart of Oklahoma City, and how important our work is to them. We have continued publishing thanks to the support of existing advertisers, but we require more revenue to build for the future.”
In a message to businesses and organizations in the area, McGuigan said, “Newspapers in America are in the midst of a free fall in readership and advertising revenues. We are a little different – we have more readers and more penetration in the heart of the city than ever, but we share in the revenue challenges facing all of our colleagues in the print industry.”
The veteran of three decades in the news business said, “In the long run, it’s conceivable that all of us in journalism will be exclusively online. In the short run, and I still believe for years to come, print media, including newspapers, retain a central role in the delivery of news and information.”
While exploring expansion of the newspaper’s online presence, McGuigan says, “Our print product retains primary appeal for many people in the ‘demographic’ that subscribes to the product or picks it up at the hundreds of racks we have around the area.” He pointed advertisers to complete information at the website: city-sentinel.com/advertise/
McGuigan said, “Our staff of newspaper writers is passionate about covering the diversity and distinction that characterizes so much of this area. We are a cheerleader for all the businesses and advocacy groups in our city, while keeping a watchful eye on state and local government, in the grand tradition of the news media’s ‘watchdog’ and ‘sentinel’ role.”
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