Seeking news in the 21st century

Friday, September 5, 2008 | 3:32 p.m. CDT

Who is the cover model? She is you. She is me. She is a reader, listener, viewer. She is a consumer and, in some cases, a producer of news.

As communication shifted with advances in technology, so shifted the relationship between journalism and the community it serves. Members of our community sat down and talked about the media. What came up wasn't a surprise: People depend on the media but struggle to understand it. Trust, advertising, bias, financial troubles and journalism education were only a few of the innumerable topics that emerged.

A group of Missourian reporters tackled these issues at a time when Columbia should be celebrating journalism: the 100-year-anniversary of the Missouri School of Journalism. Official sources were sought - professors, researchers, scholars - but in the end, the story kept circling back to the citizen.

The media may not like to write about the media, but they sure like to talk about themselves. Starting with community observations set us on paths that interest the reader. In this case, the reader includes newspaper reporters and coffee shop baristas. The reader is a TV newscast producer and a retired, lifelong Columbia resident. The reader is me, and most importantly, the reader is you.

Click here to read more about how Columbia residents and journalists see the state of the media.


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