Meet your new Community Impact Editor

Nicholas Hrkman
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Nicholas Hrkman

My name is Nick Hrkman and it is my sincere pleasure to take over the Ideas & Voices page as Community Impact Editor for the Dayton Daily News.

The Community Impact Editor works closely with the Path Forward team to identify reporting that demands further action by providing community voices — your voices — that add context and understanding to the most pressing issues we face together. I’ll manage the Ideas & Voices page with the mission of delivering balanced views, an open forum and solutions-oriented perspectives on important regional problems.

My job is to solicit strong, thoughtful arguments from multiple perspectives that allows our audiences to make informed judgments. These topics will almost always follow from the strong reporting done by our reporters. This week’s topic — about the recent COVID-19 vaccine mandates — is an example of how difficult and nuanced these conversations can become. You might support vaccinations for all — but what is the legal and most effective means to go about that task?

I won’t be able to do this job without the contributions of you, the reader. The Ideas & Voices page is a place to better understand the issues facing our community as told through your voices. You don’t have to have an advanced degree or years of experience in a subject to join the conversation. I will make it my prerogative to have these pages reflect the rich diversity and cross-section of American life that Dayton offers. This means seeking out contributions from people of different incomes, races, religions and those who historically haven’t been represented in the media. I’ll also be relying on your critiques and welcome any suggestions for improvement. My email and phone number are easy to find. Don’t hold back.

There are many ways for you to get involved in Ideas & Voices. Submitting letters to the editor, writing an op-ed, contributing meaningful comments on our social media channels and attending future community roundtables and Facebook Live events will bring you closer to the heart of the discussion we hope to foster.

I was born and raised in Dayton. I’m a proud graduate of Dayton Public Schools. I’m deeply invested in our community and want to see it flourish. I applied for this position because of its potential to catalyze change through discussion of the most pressing issues we face together.

ExploreRead Nick Hrkman's writing on the 2019 Oregon District shooting and aftermath.

I hope to honor the memory of my high school journalism teacher and former Dayton Daily News reporter, Derek Ali, whose life, tutelage, love for his community and tragic death initially inspired me to apply for the Si Burick scholarship and pursue my degree in journalism at Ohio University. I first started working at the paper as an intern in the summer of 2005. It’s an immense pleasure to rejoin friends at a newsroom that taught me so much at a formative age.

I inherit a page and a concept that has been carefully developed over many years. I thank Amelia Robinson, the former Community Impact Editor, for her leadership of Ideas & Voices, and Ron Rollins and Ellen Belcher before her. I aim to build upon the foundation they’ve created and leave my own mark on the Ideas & Voices page by experimenting with new forms of engagement and new ways of presenting information to our readers.

I’m excited by the possibilities of this role and the change we can bring about in the community. I hope you will participate and follow along in the pages, community meetings and digital forums to come.

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