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COMMENTARY
Michael McNutt
While working as Enid bureau chief for The Oklahoman, Michael McNutt covered local government, crime, courts and breaking news. In this photo from the 1990s, before cell phones and the internet, McNutt used a film camera to take pictures of a nursing home fire and raced to get the film on a bus to Oklahoma City in time for the next day's editions. (Provided)

I‘m back.

That quote from the 2003 movie Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is the simplest way to announce my return to journalism, a profession to which I’ve dedicated nearly 40 years of my life.

Some of you may remember me from the days when I wandered the halls of the State Capitol from 2005 to 2013 covering the governor’s office, other elected officials and the House of Representatives for The Oklahoman. Before that, I worked 20 years for the newspaper, previously serving as assistant news editor, night city editor and as chief of its bureau in Enid. In 2013, I left the newspaper to serve as press secretary and eventually as communications director for then-Gov. Mary Fallin. When she left office, I served as communications director for the Office of Juvenile Affairs.

I enjoyed my time in state service and learned a lot about how state government functions. But I was intrigued when NonDoc announced its opening for managing editor. I’ve enjoyed seeing NonDoc grow during its eight years into a reputable and reliable source of news, and I have particularly followed its legislative and state government reporting. I appreciate this publication digging into why legislators back certain measures and NonDoc’s efforts to hold key state elected officials accountable instead of merely following suggested storylines provided by public information officers or campaign consultants. And more than just a reader, I’ve respected the fairness NonDoc’s reporters demonstrated when I was in the governor’s office.

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Jumping back into journalism

Michael McNutt
Michael McNutt poses at his desk in 1979, early in his newspaper career. The newspaper was transitioning to computers, but reporters still used typewriters to write their stories and relied on paper documents for information. (Provided)

I’ve known Tres Savage, NonDoc’s editor in chief, since he first showed up as a reporter at the Capitol more than 10 years ago. He was ambitious, energetic, curious and innovative, traits he still possesses today. At that time, traditional sources of media were beginning to reduce their reporting staffs to deal with shifting audience patterns. I could tell then that Tres was looking for an alternate way to cover stories to keep people informed of what their elected officials were up to and for a convenient and affordable way for them to do so. Tres has accomplished this through NonDoc.

I look forward to working with him and the entire staff, and I am excited to return to journalistic writing. As managing editor, I’ll be editing stories by our reporters, discussing and planning story ideas and covering various issues as we keep Oklahomans informed of the activities of their state and local leaders.

And I’d like to hear from you. For any story ideas you believe should be pursued or comments you have on our stories, please send me a note at mcnutt@nondoc.com.

On a personal note, I’m married to Kathryn McNutt, a longtime journalist. (We met at the Enid newspaper when we both worked there 40 years ago). I enjoy spending time with our two grandkids, Lucy, 15, and Will, 13, and our rescue English setters, three of whom (Bart, Chloie and Jesse) found a home with us. So, I’m familiar with old dogs learning new tricks.

That’s enough about me. Time to get to work.

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Michael McNutt became NonDoc's managing editor in January 2023. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years, working at The Oklahoman for 30 years, heading up its Enid bureau and serving as night city editor, assistant news editor and State Capitol reporter. He is an inductee of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. Most recently, he served as communications director for former Gov. Mary Fallin and then for the Office of Juvenile Affairs.