I like to pretend the “Godfather III” does not exist; however, it gave us a line that has truly resonated with me as of late: “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”
So without going into much backstory on a movie you truly should never watch, the quote resonates with me so much because here I am, back in the news world after a six-month journey into corporate communications.
For those of you who don’t know me, allow me to introduce myself: My name is Ty Rushing and I’m the new senior editor here at Iowa Starting Line. If you do know me, please bear with me as I give a brief overview of who I am.
I’m a Kansas City, Kansas, native who moved to Iowa in 2013 to pursue his dream of becoming a professional journalist. Throughout that journey, I’ve worked at the Newton Daily News, Sioux City Journal and The N’West Iowa REVIEW (twice!), and community journalism is kind of my jam, which is something I did not foresee when I moved here.
I left the industry in December 2020 exhausted and burnt out to enter the world of corporate communications. That company not only presented me with a better financial opportunity but a chance to achieve that coveted work/life balance thing I’ve heard so much about.
Somehow, working 50-plus hour weeks during a global pandemic while also navigating a global racial justice movement centered on the unjust killings of people who look like you tends to wear you out, so when I got an escape hatch that also aligned with my skills, I took it.
And, to be honest with you, it was nice! I saw there was life outside of news and journalism and keeping my nose on the grindstone for nearly a decade. I moved back to Sioux City — one of Iowa’s most underrated communities — and I was enjoying my new vocation.
I worked with an incredible team of people, built relationships throughout the organization and the company I was with is projected to double in size over the coming years. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation for my post-journalism landing spot.
Outside of work, I reconnected with a lot of Sioux City friends, began getting involved with local organizations — including joining a board with a three-year term — and was finding ways to spend my newly acquired free time.
Things were going; a little too well. In March, I got a call from Pat Rynard (perhaps you readers have heard of him) and he was telling me about his new mission for Iowa Starting Line and the future plans for the site. I thought it sounded intriguing and gave him a few people to contact.
I thought that was the end of it. Wrong!
Pat came back around in May. This time he had concrete details of what was about to happen with Starting Line, information about the site’s new owners and how he saw me fitting in with this new vision.
Also, Pat is pretty persuasive. If this was a role-playing game, all of his attribute points would be in charisma.
If you missed the big announcement post in June, Starting Line is pivoting to becoming a news source that directly takes on disinformation, something we’ve all been exposed to. I’m not going to lie, it will be a challenge but that’s part of what intrigued me about this opportunity.
Also, I love news, local news especially, but I’ve also seen how blatant lies and false realities have afflicted our society.
This a chance to directly take that on.
So how do we shine a truth light into those dark social media echo chambers? How do we keep Iowans who have become trapped in these disinformation loops abreast of the truth?
We have a few ideas, but for us to achieve our goals we are going to need your help.
Let us know if you spot something suspicious —think Biden beef ban, “Plandemic” and, most importantly, hyperlocal Iowa issues — in your social media feeds and in your local communities and we will try to get to the bottom of it. We have an initial news tips online form here you can use.
This is a new venture for Starting Line and myself, and I’ve never been above asking for help, so don’t be shy. My new email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my Twitter DMs — you can find me at @rushthewriter — are always open.
by Ty Rushing