The long tenure of Pat Rice as editor of the Daytona Beach News-Journal is coming to a close. After 38 years working in journalism including 12 as editor of the News-Journal, Rice has announced he will retire at the end of the year. The News-Journal was (understandably) first with the news.
“I’ve just decided that I’m at a point in life that if I’m going to do anything else from a career standpoint, it’s the right time for me to do that,” Rice said in his announcement. “I’ve been the editor here for 12 years, that’s a long run for any editor anywhere and it just feels like the right time to make that move to go into something else.” When he revealed his decision to the paper’s staff this week, he assured them he will stay in Volusia County and continue to be involved with the community.
Rice’s career in Florida journalism began in 2004, when he moved from Wisconsin and became editor of Northwest Florida Daily News in Fort Walton Beach. In 2010 he moved to Volusia County to come on board with the News-Journal.
In the News-Journal’s announcement of Rice’s retirement, his quality of work was endorsed by Sheriff Mike Chitwood and former Volusia County Council member Pat Northey. “He called it the way he saw it whether you agreed with it or not,” said Chitwood. “Over the years, I didn’t agree with everything, but I always had a great deal of respect for Pat because, at the end of day, he always tried to be fair.”
Even being based in Volusia County, the Daytona Beach News-Journal serves as one of the top sources of news in Flagler County as well as its own home turf. A Google search of ‘Flagler County news sites’ brings up the News-Journal as the fifth result, behind FlaglerLive, Spectrum News 13, the Palm Coast Observer, and AskFlagler. The site’s commitment to coverage of Flagler news has been integral to the community throughout Rice’s tenure helming the ship.
“A newspaper is really a public trust,” Rice said in his statement. “You can be owned by a company or individual, but I have always felt it’s a public trust to do the right thing for the community. A lot goes into that. You have to be watchdogs of government; you have to be fair and accurately cover all segments of community, no matter what.
“You have to cover both the good things as well as the things that need improvement. I don’t want to hold up a specific story other than to say we’ve fulfilled that obligation really well to our readers, and I know the staff will continue to do that.”