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Editorial: A new sense of purpose

The drive from Chicago to Maryland takes about 10 hours, if you go just a few miles over the speed limit. I did this drive twice in the past few weeks, along with a few O’Hare-BWI flights (one that routed me through Philadelphia on a seemingly pointless 20-minute jaunt), and for the past week, I’ve been sleeping on a rather uncomfortable air mattress.

I don’t regret a minute of any of it (well, maybe the layover in Philly), and I am enthused about how the editorial staff at The Daily Record can work with our readers in the future to generate compelling stories, up-to-the-minute breaking news and sophisticated data analysis that will not only inform, but also enlighten.

For me, this is a homecoming in two ways. Before a brief stint at The University of Chicago, I had lived in Maryland for more than a decade. More importantly, perhaps, this is a return to journalism — a profession about which I am deeply passionate.

As many of you know, journalism has been through some rocky waters in the past several years. The path ahead for the industry is murky. However, I believe the mission of The Daily Record is clear, and its singular sense of purpose is one of the qualities that attracted me to my new position.

Our mission is both noble and practical: We report, without fear or favor, on the issues that matter most to our readers. And this is where I believe we have an opportunity to grow. As technology has advanced, consumers of information have been bombarded with sound bites, tweets, Facebook posts, email alerts, talk radio personalities, 24-7 TV news, iPad apps, Wikipedia and many other sources of information.

Our goal moving forward will be to filter that noise and help our readers make sense of the frenzy. We will provide more analytical pieces that delve into not only the nuts and bolts of stories, but also the critical how and why questions that are too often forgotten. We will place a tremendous emphasis on the collection, dissemination and analysis of data that you will use to make critical business decisions. We will produce unique investigative work that you won’t find in any other news source in the state. Not to mention the continuation of our breaking news coverage that can be accessed in real time at thedailyrecord.com.

If this sounds like a lot, it is, and while there’s an old saying in business about under-promising and over-delivering, I take a contrary view. I believe in over-promising and then over-delivering on those promises. To that end, I am asking you, our readers, for your help.

I want to hear from you about what we’re doing well, what we’re doing not so well and what we could be doing differently that will help you with your business and personal decisions. Please email me at David.Simon@thedailyrecord.com or call me at 443-524-8150. I look forward to your input and to continuing the tradition of producing exceptional journalism that has been established by my predecessors.