Jim Gaines to lead statehouse coverage

ajc.com

Career journalist will report on issues that impact southwest Ohio

A veteran journalist is joining the state’s press corps to lead statehouse news coverage and help local readers understand decisions being made in Columbus and how they affect the region.

Jim Gaines has begun work as the statehouse bureau chief for the Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun and Journal-News newspapers.

“Jim is a great addition to our staff,” said Dayton Daily News Editor Jim Bebbington. “He has a lot of experience covering local and state government. His work is going to continue our commitment to helping our readers understand what is going on in state government and how it affects them.”

Gaines, 52, is originally from Michigan but has lived about half his life in Kentucky. He is a graduate of Western Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in history and government, and a subsequent bachelor’s in journalism.

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In his 20-year career, Gaines has worked at seven papers in five states as a reporter or editor. He has primarily covered politics, from local library taxes to short-lived presidential campaigns. He covered business at the Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel for three years, then spent a year in communications at the Kentucky Department of Education before coming to the Dayton Daily News.

“I’ve always followed government actions closely, and no matter what subject I was covering I was likely to find a public policy impact,” Gaines said. “I think letting people know what their government is doing – with perspective and context – is vital for a healthy, functioning society.”

Gaines joins the newsroom at a pivotal time, as Columbus tackles legislative redistricting, a statehouse corruption scandal, response to the pandemic and numerous other issues that directly impact our region. He will cover some of these issues personally, as well as direct coverage by others.

“It will take me a little while to get up to speed on all the relevant issues and personalities, but I intend to provide people in the greater Dayton area with the best coverage I can of their state officials — whether elected, appointed or hired — and the real-world effects of their actions,” he said.

Gaines welcomes feedback and suggestions. Contact him at James.Gaines@coxinc.com.