J. Karl Miller has been writing a weekly column for the Missourian since 2006. Before he became a columnist, he was a frequent letter writer concerned about local and national issues.
David Rosman also started out as a frequent letter writer. He has now penned 94 columns for the Missourian, according to the archive at ColumbiaMissourian.com. And I’m sure the count is much higher, since he was writing well before the opinion section first debuted online.
I’m also sure David will post a comment at the Web site correcting me on the number of columns he’s actually written. And when he does, we’ll print it on the Missourian’s opinion page.
That’s what I love about the Missourian’s newly designed opinion page. Designer Emily Ristow came up with a new look for a new era in the Missourian’s 100-year history — the five-day-a-week era.
This design was done to provide the best of our opinion section content in print, whether it be something from a local columnist such as Miller or Rosman, or something shorter from readers who want to participate by leaving comments at ColumbiaMissourian.com or on our Facebook page.
You can also find us on Twitter, by the way.
A few other changes we hope you’ll like:
- The opinion section is a place for community conversation, which is now reflected on the flag of the print Missourian – Write, Reflect, Respond.
- On Tuesday, we’ll debut the new Voices column, featuring the aforementioned reader comments from the Missourian’s various online haunts.
- The new Today’s Question column follows the same format as the old Five Ideas column: A critical examination of a hot topic in the news paired with a question that serves as the invitation to get the conversation rolling.
- The Dear Reader column will move from the Weekend Missourian to Sunday’s edition. You'll continue to find it on Friday afternoons online.
- We still love to run your letters to the editor and your guest columns. Please send them to letters@ColumbiaMissourian.com, or mail them to PO Box 917, Columbia, MO 65211.
The point to stress here is that you don’t have to be a Rosman or a Miller to have your voice heard. You can send it to us in a short form, a long form, a video form, an audio form, a Flash form, etc. etc. The medium is yours to choose.
We’ll continue to bring as much of your content to print as possible. And you can find it all on the Web.
Speaking of conversation, I had an interesting conversation with John McCain this week. Yes, I mean Sen. John McCain, the same man who recently ran for president.
I follow the senator’s tweets on Twitter, and I was very excited when he tweeted that he would be listing the top 10 porkiest bills in the omnibus spending bill Congress considered this week. Here is a partial list from his tweets:
- $475,000 for a parking garage in Provo, Utah
- $1.7 million for a honeybee factory in Weslaco, Texas
- $200,000 for “tattoo removal violence outreach program to … help gang members or others shed visible signs of their past. REALLY?”
- $300,000 for Montana World Trade Center
- $1 million for Mormon cricket control in Utah, to which McCain quips “Is that the species of cricket or a game played by Brits.”
McCain isn’t the only U.S. senator on Twitter. Claire McCaskill offers some interesting insight about committee hearings, votes and her personal life. And, as she noted in one tweet, it also gives her a chance to speak directly to “Missourians about my day without reporters editing.”
While the senator may appreciate her ability to tweet unfiltered, she did find herself “busted” not only by the media, but by her own mother.
The elder McCaskill got on her daughter for tweeting during President Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday night. Like a good tweeter, McCaskill tweeted about it but claimed she only tweeted at the very beginning of the speech and afterward, not during.
Not true, says Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert. By checking the time stamp of McCaskill’s tweet against tape of Obama’s speech, he discovered it came about nine minutes in. (Click here to watch the video of Colbert's "bust.")
Maybe it’s not the traditional definition of watchdog journalism, but it does demonstrate how Twitter and journalism can make beautiful music together.
Jake Sherlock is the Missourian’s opinion page editor. Contact him at SherlockJ@missouri.edu or at 882-9951.