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Columbia Missourian

Strike a blow for open government

By Tom Warhover
February 20, 2009 | 4:11 p.m. CST

Dear Reader,

On Thursday, we were injected by a double dose of new(s) — a new schools superintendent and a new police chief.

The two-fer, for all I know, was happy coincidence.

The new guys serve the same constituency: us. So I won't be surprised when they come in saying similar things. 

City Manager Bill Watkins wants more transparency in the Police Department. The School Board has asked for more openness from the superintendent's office.

Open. Government. They don't always go together. 

Missourian managing editor Jeanne Abbott is assigning a reporter to do a story about what transparency means in both organizations.

If you have a question or thought on the topic, let Jeanne know.


In the spirit of openness, I've tried to keep you up-to-date on changes in print.

Saturday's edition is the penultimate Weekend Missourian. Beginning in March, the Missourian will publish in print on Sunday and from Tuesday through Friday.

The Weekend Missourian has at least one story every week that editors consider to be of “project quality” — that is, a report that goes deep and contains more layers of information. It takes more space.

You’ll see one of these every day, whether it's local news, sports or reports from the wire services.

The stories might not be as long — most Weekend cover stories are more than 4,000 words — but they will still take significant space.

The front page has been redesigned to really make these cover stories shine. It’s not a total makeover; body and display type will remain the same. But you’ll see little changes throughout the page.

You’ll find seven days of Sudoku, Bridge, AstroGraph and crossword puzzles. There will be two days’ worth on Fridays and Sundays. You’ll find them in the B-section.

Items shared by Columbians on are regularly published in the Weekend Missourian. You’ll still see them, on 2A most days, in the daily print edition.


I'm now officially obsessed: Kill "the perfect storm."

UM System President Gary Forsee spoke straight ahead for most of two hours with MU faculty and staff Friday morning. He began, though, with that most imperfect cliche.

Let me know other places you find this felony phrase.

Leave no stone unturned. Together, we can smash it like a rotten tomato and sweep it out to sea.