A letter from the editor

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Daniel Langhorne

I’m filled with gratitude and humility in writing that I will step down as editor of the Independent effective Sept. 2.

It’s been the privilege of a lifetime to be entrusted with a community cornerstone in a place as special as Laguna. I’ll forever be grateful to have worked for this company during the most challenging days of the pandemic. Hopefully, I’ll leave the paper’s editorial section in better shape than when I started.

I’m indebted to the passionate and thoughtful staff of columnists who have helped fill these pages since I stepped into this role in February 2020. They made the weekly miracle possible even as we all quarantined at home during the virus surges. We never failed to print a paper and I’m extremely proud of that.

A special thank you is owed to my predecessor, Allison Jarrell, who brought me on as a city reporter in 2018. This opportunity gave me a second chance to commit acts of journalism. I’ll never forget the many late nights I spend sitting in the back of the Council Chambers, typing away as concerned citizens spoke from the podium.

I’m also thankful to Steve Zepezauer and Scott Sanchez for taking a chance on a 30-year-old, Santa Barbara native as the editor of arguably the most trusted news source in town. Steve is actively recruiting candidates to fill the editor position and I’m confident he’ll find an exceptional journalist to take the helm.

Most importantly, thank you to the readers who have supported this newspaper and allowed me to hold public officials accountable to the voters and taxpayers. I acknowledge I’ve made mistakes and have worked hard to quickly correct them. Your trust and confidence are invaluable.

My family served as my North Star in deciding to step down. Even when I’m able to be physically present with them, my thoughts are often elsewhere. The job’s cadence has been particularly brutal this year. Journalism is still in my blood but my wife and son sustain me and provide immeasurable purpose.

I won’t be straying far. I’m beyond excited to start my new position as communications and website manager at Sage Hill School in Newport Coast. The school’s staff have been sincerely welcoming to me and I can’t wait to meet many of the students and parents.

Local news matters and isn’t possible without you. Thank you for reading.

– Daniel Langhorne, Executive Editor of the Independent

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Daniel: I believe your stewardship of our town’s most vital source of news has left it in good shape for your successor. That’s so critical in a time when local newspapers are struggling. I personally appreciated your journalistic integrity and fairness in covering local politics. You’ll be missed. But I also wish you great success and contentment in your new job which will hopefully afford you a better work/life balance.

  2. Thank you, Daniel, for all you have brought to Laguna. Your balanced, fair minded approach was so valued here. Although you’ll be missed I’m glad you’re moving into a role that makes sense for where you are in your life now. Congratulations and best wishes for continued success. Have a blast at Sage!

  3. Thank you Daniel for practicing solid and ethical journalist principles. You have guided those of us who care enough to be vocal in our community and civics to be factual and respectful. I wish you much success in your new job and more importantly valuable time with your family. It flies and you can’t get it back. Best, MJ

  4. As someone else in the publishing biz, I’ve been an admirer of Daniel Langhorne’s ability to uncover local Laguna stories as they break, and write them up cogently and in an even-handed way. Sure, there were times I thought he was too liberal in allowing some columnists to make unsubstantiated claims. However, since those same people were also ranting that Langhorne was too liberal about covering the “other side”, it proves that he was a master of the middle way—balanced, community news reporting. I’m sure that those breaking stories required losing sleep and time with family, but he was on it with reliable community news reports. He dug and investigated, and made the Indy the go to spot for finding out about local Laguna issues. Thank you, Daniel, for keeping journalism’s faith and holding public officials accountable to local voters and taxpayers. You will be deeply missed. Congrats to you, and to Sage Hill School for getting you.

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