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The week in comments: Conflict of interest policy and election fallout (continued)

Sunday, April 25, 2010 | 7:03 p.m. CDT; updated 11:21 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Every week, readers of ColumbiaMissourian.com offer their opinions on the news and the Missourian's coverage of it. Here, we offer you a digest of some of the conversations we found most interesting. Click any of the links to join in.

COLUMN: When voters send a message, it pays to recognize it

Comments: 30 / Commenters: 9

In J. Karl Miller's most recent column he addresses grievances people throughout Columbia had about the recent elections, including complaints about endorsements and unfair financial advantages.


A debate began among Missourian readers about the election results and different issues Miller addresses.

Mike Martin wrote, "Had the candidates actually campaigned on the issues you raise, Colonel Miller, I might be more inclined to buy some of your points." Ray Shapiro commented "Just seems to me that 'non-partisan' elections in Columbia become more of a direct reflection of the individual running for council/mayor and creates a different dynamic and feel then outright party endorsed and party fronted races such as offices for the presidency, governor or state/fed representatives."

The conversation eventually turned away from the topic of local elections and turned into a more general political discussion.

DEAR READER: Help the Missourian update its conflicts-of-interest policy

Comments: 12 / Commenters: 8

In a letter to Missourian readers, executive editor Tom Warhover posed the question of what the Missourian can do to update its conflicts-of-interest policy.

Amber Hanneken led the discussion by critiquing the policy. One issue that bothered her was that political viewpoints should not be apparent through students or staffers' public profiles on social networking Web sites. Hannkeken called that "dishonest" and felt that a good journalist can have their opinions and still cover things fairly. Carl Kabler was worried about the media being "sheep" and suggested that stories should be written by a "collaboration of several different writers or allowing others with a different perspective and insight to help with the editorial process." Allan Sharrock said "There is no such thing as a unbiased person so the best thing to do is not report on things that you have strong feelings about."

COLUMN: Most commenters add valuable voice to the conversation

Comments: 4 / Commenters: 3

Columnist David Rosman shares his thoughts on reader commentary and invites readers to join a community discussion he is leading.

Joy Piazza said she is confused on what is newsworthy in this article and it was just advertising for Rosman's upcoming speaking engagement. Reader Ellis Smith responded saying that it is not a news story, but a column presenting personal opinions.

MU students, faculty give coffee grounds a new purpose

Comments:4 / Commenters: 2

Coffee grounds, in addition to other kitchen products, may offer a viable alternative to diesel fuel.

Two readers went back and forth in a disucssion about the article. Mark Foecking said "The problem is not whether it can or should be done, the problem is we use so much oil." Ellis Smith agreed but questioned the viability of alternatives. "Experts who have done their calculations agree that we cannot produce the electrical energy we presently consume by using only wind and solar generation, let alone meet future demand," Smith said. Foecking said that it is too early to say "cannot" and provided alternatives. Smith agreed and said that it will be a long time before the answer is known.


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