The Kerrville Daily Times editorial board criticized the City of Kerrville in Friday’s editorial subtitled, “Miss: Speaking of a Free Press.” The newspaper publishes “hits and misses” describing what they see as successes or failures, positives and negatives, concerning local matters. The criticism directed at the city had to do with City Manager Mark McDaniel’s remarks at the annual State of the City luncheon, in which McDaniel highlighted the city’s growing Facebook outreach, mobile app, and other public information efforts.
The Times editorial board, which includes publisher Carlina Villalpando, editor Louis Amestoy, composing manager Dean Heep, advertising specialist Luly Bliss, and photo editor Tom Holden, stated, “We like to remind everyone, that like the State of the City, that everything you read — with the exception of data or studies — is tinged with internal city messaging and spin… There is a great danger in the city becoming something it shouldn’t become — a news organization.”
The City fired back using its Facebook page, stating, “While McDaniel did promote the city’s phone app and Facebook page, he never said either was a source for community news, and never intimated that the city was trying to become a news organization… McDaniel’s comments were meant to encourage citizens to use the city’s phone app and Facebook page to stay up to date on city events – whether they be library functions, Parks & Recreation activities, new developments regarding the River Trail, and so forth – and to directly communicate with the city. A quick perusal of either application will show that this has always been the sole goal of the city’s social media and other communications in the interest of transparency, accountability, and just good service to the citizens we serve.”
The City of Kerrville’s Facebook page has 7,320 followers, while the Daily Times page reaches approximately 15,211 followers. The newspaper’s audited circulation numbers, courtesy of the Texas Press Association website, show that the Times serves 6,691 print subscribers.