Manny Garcia: Dynamic area, economy, opportunities

Dania Maxwell

Photo by SCOTT MCINTYRE, Scott McIntyre // Buy this photo

Dania Maxwell

Jessica Lipscomb

Jessica Lipscomb

William DeShazer

Photo by SCOTT MCINTYRE, Scott McIntyre // Buy this photo

William DeShazer

Ryan Mills

Ryan Mills

Dear readers:

We hear often — internally and externally — about the demise of newspapers, how we have lost our clout.

Nothing is further from the truth.

Reporter Jessica Lipscomb and photographers Dania Maxwell and William DeShazer tracked the life of Angela Parziale, a 22-year-old woman caring for three teenagers, on a shoestring budget, while working three jobs.

It’s a riveting story — one that newspapers tell best because we have the time and space to deliver it online and in print with as much space as we need to do it justice.

But what really hit me about that story was you. Our readers responded, giving nearly $25,000 in donations within five days so Parziale, a 17-year-old girl and 13-year-old twin boys would not get evicted.

I’ve been a journalist more than 20 years, but have never seen such an outpouring of support from the community.

“When I first met Angela a few weeks ago, I was interested in her story because it was so unusual,” said Lipscomb, whose story was edited by Ryan Mills. “She was 22 and she drove a minivan. She agreed to accept this huge responsibility and acted like, well, of course I should help these kids. It was so obvious to her.

“The way our readers responded to her story — and that’s important because it’s her story, not mine — is incredible to me. We hear so many examples of people passing the buck, and that’s why it was so wonderful but surprising to me to see so many people pitch in $10 or $20, let alone 5 grand.”

We will continue to track Parziale and her family and will keep you informed on how she navigates her way going forward.

I tell you this story because it’s the best explanation of why I am here, from Miami, as your new editor.

Our region is dynamic and growing. This past week Len Egdish, a Daily News marketing director, made a presentation for our newsroom that ranged from who our readers are to where the housing starts are projected, and other variables.

The headline is: We live in a region that is primed to grow again in a big way, and we are poised better than any other news organization to deliver the timely, accurate information that you need to help you make informed decisions.

We have three franchise topics which play specifically into what readers have told us they want. In The 239 — which is our area code — runs the gamut from outdoor activities to the local music scene and great restaurants. Our second franchise topic is Breaking Ground, focusing on growth and development — the number of building permits and new developments is a strong sign of investments focused on families moving in here. We will smartly cover the topic as it affects everything from traffic to water quality to oil drilling. Our third topic is Making the Grade, emphasizing education coverage from prekindergarten to higher education in public as well as private schools. Collier County Public Schools is our largest employer.

It’s clear that more families are moving to Naples. NCH Healthcare System is just now investing in a pediatric emergency room — a brick-and-mortar upgrade that signals progress.

To sum up, the future is bright. We have a talented newsroom, passionate, creative, devoted to readers. And our mission is simple: Deliver the information you need across every platform — the printed newspaper and — and even television. We discuss these points and others on our “Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle” program airing this morning at 10 on ABC7.

Thank you for your trust.

Garcia is executive editor of the Daily News. His email address is Call him at 239-263-4863.

© 2013 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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