Small town newspapers require a few traits from their reporters in order to survive: enthusiasm, truthfulness, and trustworthiness. It is required — for as often as faces come and go — so the publication itself retains its integrity and place in community.
With this, the Inquirer is happy to introduce Garrett McGinley to its staff as its new reporter on all things city, county, and in-between. He's already been chasing stories up in Waelder and looks to write on all happenings big and small.
McGinley was born in Orange, Calif., but was raised a Texan. After growing up in the Houston area he moved to San Marcos to study journalism at Texas State University. He decided to write the news because he enjoyed the craft and felt that he was pretty good at it. He graduated in December 2018 and already has some good stories under his belt, having written for the University Star, San Marcos Daily Record, and the weekly San Antonio Current.
“I like covering politics; local, statewide, national whatever,” McGinley said. “To clarify, I don't really like politics, as an institution, but I find it interesting and important. I also enjoy covering culture, music and sports.”
Don't let his movie star looks fool you, for he's here to get the facts straight and ask the hard questions while flashing a million-dollar grin. Most importantly, he gets what it means to represent a small town and the only newspaper that they have.
“Community journalism is vital,” he explained. “Too many communities in our state and across the nation are lacking essential coverage and they're suffering because of it. To be able to join a team providing honest, hard-hitting local coverage to a community like Gonzales is an honor.
“Journalism is in a precarious spot at the moment. Challenges to the industry are everywhere, from financial woes leading to vulture companies buying local newspapers to strip them of assets; allegations — substantiated and otherwise — of hyper-partisan bias and unprecedented amounts of public animosity towards journalists. But I think the role of journalism remains as important as it always has been; it’s a means of radical truth telling and public accountability.”
McGinley dabbles in sports, particularly basketball, for he is a Houston Rockets fan, though he promises that won't create bias here in what he defines as “Spurs country.” But it is likely that his new sport might be delving into local history and finding out what exactly it is that makes this town tick.
“Texas has a fascinating history,” McGinley said. “This almost goes without saying but it’s a huge state, and I love to dive deep into moments that don’t garner a lot of attention in textbooks. As for Gonzales, I’m excited to learn. I know the surface level stuff that most everybody that took a Texas history course in middle school knows, but I’m very much looking forward to getting to know every part of this town’s history that I can.”