Antonio French, owner and publisher of MetroSTL.com, The NorthSider and The SouthSider, has added a new role: He has joined the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial staff as a writer, columnist and Editorial Board member.
French, 43, was the alderman for St. Louis’ 21st ward from 2009 to 2017 and ran for mayor in 2017. On the streets of Ferguson in 2014-15 after the death of Michael Brown Jr., French provided video coverage and commentary for national TV networks and newspapers. He is also the proprietor of the Taha’a Twisted Tiki restaurant and bar in The Grove.
The Post’s “longstanding goal has been to broaden the racial, gender and political diversity of these pages so we better reflect the community we serve,” said Tod Robberson, the Post-Dispatch‘s editorial page editor. “Try as we might to reflect the concerns of … St. Louis’ Black community, the simple fact is this: Nothing can substitute for voices from within that community itself.”
Robberson cited French’s broad experience in local politics and as “an entrepreneur who knows firsthand the headaches of negotiating the local bureaucracy to register and open a business.”
French, who lives in north St. Louis, “brings a firsthand knowledge of potential solutions that are realistic and workable,” Robberson said.
French holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Auburn University and an executive master’s degree in business administration from Washington University.
In a statement Monday, French explained why he was tackling this new venture:
“I think it is so important now, more than at any other time in my lifetime, that St. Louis — and America, really — examines who we are and who we want to be. Warts and all. That important conversation is fueled by journalism. The Post-Dispatch has a great opportunity to fuel an intelligent, well-informed regional discussion about our past, present and future during one of the most tumultuous periods in American history. I hope that my perspective adds value to that conversation. That is certainly my goal.”