Residence: Plymouth Township
Birthday: Sept. 21
John McKay has served as editor of Plymouth-Canton Patch from 2011-2013 and Rochester-Rochester Hills Patch since March 2013.
John came to Patch in 2011 after two years of living and working in Port Huron, where he served as a copy editor, paginator and blogger for the Times Herald (Gannett).
A lifelong Michigander, John was raised in Fenton and is a graduate of Fenton High School. John cut his teeth as a reporter working for the Tri-County Times, one of the state's largest semiweekly newspapers, where he covered the Fenton and Linden school districts, as well as Fenton, Fenton Township, Holly, Linden, Rose Township and Tyrone Township government and community affairs.
John's incisive reporting and willingness to embrace new media and multimedia reporting at his college newspaper led to him receiving the Michigan Press Association's (MPA) first-place Journalist of the Year award in 2008. He's also received a variety of MPA honors for columnist, video production, reviews and sports features at both the collegiate and professional level.
If you see John around town in Rochester-Rochester Hills, feel free to stop him to introduce yourself. You also can reach John at firstname.lastname@example.org or (810) 986-9481. Follow him on Twitter at @RochesterPatch.
At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. However, we also acknowledge that true impartiality is impossible because human beings have beliefs. So in the spirit of simple honesty, our policy is to encourage our editors to reveal their beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable. This disclosure is not a license for you to inject your beliefs into stories or to dictate coverage according to them. In fact, the intent is the opposite: we hope that the knowledge that your beliefs are on the record will cause you to be ever mindful to write, report and edit in a fair, balanced way. And if you ever see evidence that we failed in this mission, please let us know.
How would you describe your political beliefs? I tend to lean a fair amount to the left on a lot of fiscal and social issues, but I don't always agree with any particular political party. When it comes to local elections, competence usually carries more weight than partisanship. Naturally, I feel injecting my personal opinion into news stories would be inappropriate.
How religious would you consider yourself? I am respectful of all religions, but I do not consider myself religious.
Local Hot-Button Issues
What do you think are the most important issues facing the community? Education and business development.
Covering a town with a similarly vibrant downtown district in Plymouth, I'm aware of the economic impact a strong downtown has on the surrounding community. Downtown districts are a major source of revenue for cities, with property tax rates in the surrounding area and even outlying communities reflecting the area's status as a true destination. Keeping a vibrant, dense and diverse downtown is one of the keys to maintaining a strong community.
Having covered one of Michigan's largest school districts in Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, I am also aware of the struggles schools face with limited per-pupil funding and increasing competition from public charter and cyber schools. Districts are trying to make improvements to keep their schools a destination for area children with limited state funding while trying to compete with other educational institutions.