I have had a tumultuous if short relationship with the former Editor of the North West Florida Daily News Director of Content for Florida Freedom Newspapers and now Editor of The Daytona Beach News-Journal. Pat left a paper he helped, in the opinion of many people, run into the ground for a paper that apparently was having its own financial and ethical problems. One could argue, the new owners, with their eyes on the bottom Line, decided they based their hire for an Editor that will work cheap vice having a track record of running a successful paper.
One thing I noticed a few weeks after Pat Rice left our area for his move to Daytona Beach, was that I was suddenly getting hits emanating from the Daytona Beach area based on Google searches on the Words of "Pat Rice" and "NW Florida Daily News". I naturally assumed people in the area were just curious about their new Editor and wanted to know more about him. Then, a couple days ago, I get a comment posted on my Old Blog, "BloggyBayou" (that is still available for reading - I've since moved on to join forces with other writers and am the Owner and Prime Mover of "PracticalState.com", Florida's Premier Political Pundit Site Nearest the New Wal-Mart Being Built in Niceville, FL....) and I quote it here in full:
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Pat Rice and The Daytona Beach News Journal to 21s...":
I'm curious to know more about this Pat Rice. From things I've heard, he's making life absolutely miserable for a staff of journalists at the News-Journal that produced -- prior to his arrival -- great stories for the paper's readers. Despite what was happening on the business side of the paper, regarding it's lawsuit, the newsroom was able to keep the News-Journal standards from falling. Rice arrives and has made all these professionals feel as though they aren't doing a good job, he's changed beats, decided that certain beats weren't worthy of coverage, despite the solid research and reader input that says otherwise. There are a bunch of staffers who don't have a lot of options workwise because of their age or family situation, but it seems that Rice is just micromanaging this paper to death, and they feel they have no other choice but to leave or else they'll be shown the door. He seems like such an arrogant, yet simple-minded, little man who gets his rocks off intimidating people. While he was just the content editor in Panama City, he is the head honcho in Daytona which makes him more unbearable than you could imagine.
Posted by Anonymous to Bloggy Bayou at July 29, 2010 10:29 PM
Sitemeter is a wonderful tool and sure enough, sometime around 10:29 PM on 29 July, someone whose IP address emanated from Daytona Beach left this comment.
Forgive me for making assumptions, but the person who left this remark does not sound like someone who is on the outside looking in. Quite the contrary, this sounds like a person, who in these tough economic times, is worried about their job and are faced with someone they consider the "Boss From Hell".
Now, I would leave a link or post a comment to this post on the Daytona Beach News-Journal Site, but Pat, in one of his first moves as editor there, banned ALL comments from "his" paper. " Ya Vol, Mein Editor!"
Yep, unlike The New York Times (Who Pat Personally told me was the "Gold Standard" for Journalists), The St. Pete Times, The Miami Herald, or the lowly NW Florida Daily News, Good Ole Pat has decided that "21st Century Technology and free speech be damned!...No Comments for you!"
I'm going to randomly post this blog post on some of the newspapers that DO allow comments. After all, if one of the major papers in the Florida (or at least Daytona Beach) is in a possible state of revolt or worse, then that is NEWS. Newspapers are supposed to root out NEWS, even if it means going after your own, right? I mean, they wouldn't be covering up for one of their fellow papers, like Democrats cover up for their own in Congress? Newspapers are known for their unbridled and impartial hunt for the truth, right?
Also, don't let it be said "Practical State" isn't interested in this story. ANY employees or reporters who work for Pat Rice at the Daytona Beach News Journal and want to talk to me - confidentiality guaranteed - drop me a note. I mean, if newspapers can quote "anonymous sources", so can we in the "new media"). I will be asking for proof you work at the paper, but once that is established, I'll give you a fair shake to tell your side of the story.
Also, if you work for Pat and just want to comment on his performance on our site, have at it.. we don't moderate or take responsibility for comments on our site...