Rebecca McKinsey
Rebecca McKinsey

October 17, 2018

Award-winning journalist Rebecca McKinsey, a five-year veteran of the Daily Times Herald who has made her mark with engaging feature stories and fierce advocacy of progress in the region, this week officially takes the reins as the editor of the west-central Iowa daily newspaper.

At the same time, longtime editor Larry Devine, who on Oct. 1 celebrated 40 years with the Daily Times Herald, moves into the role of executive editor.

Both Devine and McKinsey will write and edit stories on daily basis. McKinsey will oversee the Times Herald’s increasing digital presence and development of young reporters, with Devine drawing on his archival understanding of the area to produce more feature stories and guide coverage and commentary.

“I’ve loved working with Larry for the past five years, and it would be impossible to encapsulate everything I’ve learned from him — from the institutional knowledge about the area he’s shared, to the philosophical discussions that remind me why I love journalism, to the grammar jokes that have everyone rolling their eyes,” McKinsey said. “I’m so grateful for the chance to continue bolstering this newspaper with him.”

McKinsey, 28, is a graduate of Ohio University, where she studied journalism and Spanish.

She has previously written for the following publications: The Chautauquan Daily in Chautauqua, New York, The Columbus Dispatch in Columbus, Ohio, The Arizona Republic in Phoenix, Arizona, and The Times of Israel in Jerusalem, Israel.

“For Carroll to have a journalist of Rebecca’s surpassing talents is one of the great fortunes of my career,” Times Herald co-owner Douglas Burns said. “I can still recall hiring her for a position in the newsroom we actually didn’t even have at the time because I was so thrilled that a writer with her resume would even call a newspaper our size. I have 100 percent trust in Rebecca’s judgment to guide our family’s newspaper in accomplishing two simultaneous missions: telling hard truths when needed and boosting the wonderful sense of community that separates our quality of life in the Carroll area from, well, much of the world, to be honest.”

For her part, McKinsey has earned more than 20 writing and photography awards from the Iowa Newspaper Association and Associated Press and captured statewide “young journalist of the year” honors in 2016 and 2017.

McKinsey has lived in Carroll full time since 2014 — and she did an autumn stint here as an intern in 2013.

“I look forward to continuing the Daily Times Herald’s strong tradition of providing quality news focused on what matters most to the residents of this area,” McKinsey said. “The people of western Iowa have distinctive stories to tell, from the community leader whose family has lived here for generations, to the recently-transplanted young, ambitious professional, to the refugee seeking to make a new home in Carroll or the surrounding area. I’m excited to keep sussing out these stories and to continue making the Daily Times Herald a publication that faithfully reports on both the time-honored traditions and the progress of this area.”

Her family lives near Cleveland, Ohio and previously spent time in Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas, New York and Missouri. She has one sister, Sarah, and three brothers adopted from Taiwan — Benjamin, Caleb and Ping-Hwei. Her father, Murray, is a math tutor, and her mother, Kathy, formerly a rehabilitation teacher for the blind and visually impaired, now stays home to write and take care of the family.

McKinsey volunteers at the Animal Rescue of Carroll and the Family Resource Center. She is currently training to be a Hospice volunteer with St. Anthony Regional Hospital.

She has a cat named Millie, loves spicy food and books and is always on the hunt for elephant paraphernalia.

When I came to Carroll five years ago, I didn’t know how long I would stay here — I assumed I’d be in New York City within a year,” McKinsey said. “But the community and its stories drew me in, and I love working at a newspaper with the quality and autonomy the Times Herald has. The reporters and editors here are like none other.”