Argus Leader loses two incredible journalists

While I never worked for the Argus (I did have several editorial cartoons printed) I did work with these two fine gentleman on several big stories concerning city politics. The Event Center siding settlement comes to mind. The one thing I appreciated about both of them was there ‘NO BS’ approach to creating a story. anytime I would give either one of them a lead they would dig. Ellis said to me all the time, “If only I could get someone on the record!” he was always adamant about having a reliable source. Sneve had a different approach, he would usually try to coax the information out of people with a little liquor and biker charm. I hope they both continue as great journalists in our community. I know they both have families and long ties to South Dakota, so I don’t see them leaving anytime soon.

My funniest memory was meeting Joe for the first time. I had beers with him, Bruce and Mike Myers at Monks. MMM’s communications manager saw us and quickly told her boss about our meeting. Joe told me soon after that Mike told him not to talk to us and Joe told Mike “I will talk to whoever I want to.”

Joe Sneve

Today marked my last day as a reporter at the Argus Leader, a newspaper which I’ve had a relationship with for the entirety of my 37 years on this planet.

From the announcement of my birth that ran in a 1984 August edition of the paper, swimming in disheveled copies of the paper on the floor of my grandfather’s house as a tot, to delivering two routes in Dell Rapids as a young teen, to becoming an intern while in college, to eventually becoming a new hire in 2012 – the Argus Leader has been part of the fabric of my life more so than just about anything else besides my family.

It’s a been a wild ride that’s opened many doors, brought me to many places I’d never have gone otherwise and has enriched my life deeply.

I’d like to thank every single co-worker, many of whom have become some of my best friends (which isn’t going to change), that I’ve had over the years. You made me a better journalist.

But the Argus Leader chapters of my life have come to an end.

However, I am not letting my years of experience as a watchdog journalist go to waste. And despite having some safer career alternatives presented to me, I am forgoing those to continue to hold South Dakota governments and the officials that operate them accountable.

My time at the Argus Leader is done, but I’m only getting started when it comes to kicking ass and taking names.

Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks about what’s next!

Jonathan Ellis

After nearly 17 yeas, today marked my last day at the Argus Leader.

It’s been a great run. I’ve worked with some phenomenal people over the years. First-rate journalists and just good people. Sadly, a couple of them are no longer with us. Dave Kranz was an outstanding political columnist. Maricarrol Kuiter a great editor.

When I interviewed at the Argus in 2005, I had also interviewed at the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News. Working at the Argus gave me opportunity I never would have had at a larger metro daily. Thank you Amy Johnson Ellis for highly suggesting that I take the job.

Less than three years into my time at the Argus, I was doing one-on-one interviews with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as they battled in the 2008 Democratic primary. I never would have had that opportunity at a larger paper.

The Argus has supported my numerous efforts to win public information. We’ve been to the South Dakota Supreme Court several times, and we also went to the U.S. Supreme Court. Not many newspapers would have had the moxie to do that.

So I will always be indebted to what the Argus gave me. But now, it’s time to move on. It may seem crazy to some, but I believe we are entering a golden age of journalism. And Joe Sneve

and I are ready for what’s to come. Standby.

Finally, I want to thank the institution and the great people I worked with and under. We’ve had solid newsroom leadership at the Argus. We’ve done amazing work. That can never be taken away from those of us who labored there. We can be proud of much.



9 comments ↓

#1 Very Stable Genius on 07.30.22 at 11:26 am

I still get the Argus delivered to my house (I know, I also go to church and have a spotted dog, and a picket fence.) everyday, but it’s delivered the night before at about 10:30pm and with the next day’s date. How do they know what is going to happen tomorrow? AND, somehow it has become an evening paper once again, well, for me. Plus, didn’t there used to be a TV show about a guy who got the paper and “the news” a day before everyone else? Well, there you go….

#The73PercentileProject 😉

#2 scott on 07.30.22 at 1:33 pm

did they leave voluntarily, or were they laid off?

#3 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 07.30.22 at 3:11 pm

Maybe someone with a Chamber background can now be hired to report from there, huh?

#4 D@ily Spin on 07.30.22 at 5:55 pm

The only reporters who gave honest reporting. I suspect they were let go because they disrupted corrupt city government. If the Argus survives, it’ll be as a supermarket tabloid with stories about aliens and rumored celebrity gossip. They’ll land somewhere better proud that they can report the truth without being censured.

#5 D@ily Spin on 07.30.22 at 6:06 pm

The Argus has a market for newspaper without print. The ink leaves stains in the bottom of bird cages, on the floor when used for dog urine, and when painting. I don’t read the propaganda but I’ll miss the other uses.

#6 Scott D Hudson on 07.30.22 at 6:33 pm

Who is left besides two or three interns?

#7 The Guy From Guernsey on 07.31.22 at 10:23 am

The departure of institutional knowledge from AL Media is now complete.
The only institutional knowledge remaining is that of the News Director and that is limited to the content of the menus of restaurants and food trucks in the city.

#8 The Guy From Guernsey on 07.31.22 at 10:36 am

On the plus side, the departure of two caucasian males should help Cory advance toward the newsroom diversity goals which Gannett is forcing upon its media properties.

#9 VSG on 07.31.22 at 11:57 am

The story that needs to be told is how South Dakota, and especially Sioux Falls, is evolving into a corporatist entity ruled by the wealthy and their upper middle income enablers, where the media is no longer the fourth estate, but rather a sounding board for boutiques, breweries, and food trucks. No wonder it’s the perfect place for limitless trusts, limitless usury rates, and limitless males…..

( and Woodstock adds: “If I was to come to Sioux Falls for the first time my first impression would be: ‘What?’…. ‘Is car washing a big hobby around here?'”…. )