« Display All Giraffes | View Printable Version of this Profile »

Create a wiki page for this profile

Bob Gough
Quincy, IL


428 Maine Street
Quincy, IL 62301

“Watchdog journalism is what’s lacking here. Local TV stations don’t have the manpower to do it. Small town newspapers don’t want to offend anybody. What we decided to do is local at city hall. We took a microscope on city hall.”
- From the Rejurno case study on QuincyNews

Photo Linked From: http://rejournalism.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/goughcu.jpg?w=200&h=172

Online news site for Quincy, IL

Below is an excerpt of a case study on QuincyNews done by ReJurno, a blog by Jane Stevens that tracks new solutions for journalism. You can read the entire study, including a breakdown on financing and daily operations, here. Jane Stevens is currently a fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, and is part of the RJI News Collaboratory.
- March 21, 2009.

Gough graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism in 1989 with a degree in broadcast journalism. Before starting QuincyNews.org, he was news director at a local NBC station. He was fired in October 2007. He had to decide if he wanted to move across the country and work somewhere else, or to stay in Quincy. "Quincy is my home," he says. "I have a wife (who's a teacher) and three kids. I got a couple of investors and developed a relationship with the local FM radio station." WTAD, the radio station, wanted a Web site, but didn't know how to put one together. A marriage was born. Gough had to decide how the organization would be different from the existing newspaper, radio and TV stations. "Watchdog journalism is what's lacking here," he says. "Local TV stations don't have the manpower to do it. Small town newspapers don't want to offend anybody. What we decided to do is local at city hall. We took a microscope on city hall."

FOUNDED: April 28, 2008.

WHY: To shine a light on the community. "People read and support QuincyNews.org because they want their sunshine," says Gough.

TURNING POINT: The flood of June 2008. Visits to the site went from 400 to 1400 a day. After the flood-waters receded, so did the numbers, but not back to 400instead, to 700 a day.

Then, Gough did a story about how the city information technology director, who'd been hired without a background check, was illegally running the local youth soccer program out of city hall. Gough found out that he'd been convicted of computer fraud. "We did all these stories. The local newspaper refused to cover them. The same company owns two radio stations, newspapers, and the TV station. Our visits jumped up to 1700 a day."

March 10, 2009. This entry from Gough's blog on QuincyNews.org illustrates his contentious relationship with City Call. "I fully admit being upset as I left City Hall. I've thought long and hard about posting that exchange. I've come to the conclusion that I don't appreciate the attempt to muzzle the media."

February 26, 2009. OJR article by David Wesphal covers how local online news sites are being affected by the recession. There's a section that talks about Quincy News:
"We've got an Internet connection and a cell phone but no land line and no fax," said Gough. "And that's hard because the city refuses to e-mail me its press releases." Gough contends that's part a city government tilt toward the Quincy Herald-Whig, which he says derives from the local daily's "glowing, fawning coverage" of City Hall.