DEAR READER: Missourian looking for new ways to engage print, online readers

Friday, February 25, 2011 | 10:02 a.m. CST

We at the Missourian are giving some thought to how we can reach out to our neighbors more, and we want to do that in ways that make sense for you and your life.

I know how I use the news, and a lot of it has to do with the smart phone my husband thinks must be attached to me with an invisible umbilical cord. But I also know I have an unusual (addictive? unhealthy?) relationship with the news and can't use myself as an example.


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Which is why my colleagues and I are hoping to hear from you about how you interact with your news. A few of the things we're thinking about and curious about:

Some dedicated students (Harumendhah Helmy, Lauren Pinder and Abbie Schmid) are working with me on some of these ideas. We've put together a survey that should take no more than five minutes. We promise it's quick and doesn't get too detailed. If you get a chance to click through, we'd sure appreciate it.

If you want to share your thoughts in a more specific or detailed way, I'd love to talk to you. You can find me at or 882-8182.

We want to share information and interact with you in ways that feel natural to you. Your time is a gift, and we'd sure appreciate it if you could invest five minutes in your relationship with us.

Joy Mayer is an editor at the Missourian. She's out of the newsroom this year while on a fellowship at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and is eager to get back to actually doing journalism for a living.

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Delcia Crockett February 25, 2011 | 2:09 p.m.

In answer to your questions:

*Smart phone:
Our household does not use a smart phone to get our news from the Missourian, though we do get the KOMU weather alert on early morning e-mail (and always read this alert each day) - and sometimes we view the live stream news at KOMU site at 5:00P.M. - on one of the home computers.

* Have you ever commented on a story on If so, what inspired you to do it?
I read the online here each day, and post comment maybe once or twice and then read the other views - because it is great to consider what/how anyone else takes a perspective on the information given in the articles.

* Do you use Facebook for news and community information, or just for more personal things?
I never engage in Facebook, My Space or any of those social online sites.

* How about Twitter?
Never use Twitter either.

* Or would you prefer ways to interact with us in person?
I like the quiet reading of the news in the Missourian from the home delivery of the paper - and then, when I check in once or twice daily at the online version, I like to see what articles are most read and to read the comments of the other readers. With the online version, I find it particularly interesting when the writers at the Missourian step into the comments and offer clarifying comments, updates or explain a point in the story.

*How can we contribute to the community's conversations in that way?
I think this will be interesting to read the answers of what other readers will have for this question. I am happy to quietly read and post privately, and to not connect in any sort of meeting or group discussion with the journalists, but others might find that interesting/compelling to do so.

Thank you for asking.

(Report Comment)
Joy Mayer February 25, 2011 | 9:52 p.m.

Delcia, thanks so much for taking the time to write this response. I love that you did it publically, and it'd be fun of anyone else wanted to share as well.

We'll likely get a lot of different answers, and meeting varied needs is one of the real challenges of the complicated media market. Thanks for contributing to our understanding of our audiences.

I'm amazed at how much less I personally read in print these days. It used to be that I had to remind myself to check the website. Now it's the other way around.

I'll be sure to report back when we have some answers collected.

Happy Friday.

Joy Mayer,

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett February 26, 2011 | 5:10 p.m.

You're welcome.

(Report Comment)
Harumendhah Helmy March 14, 2011 | 3:39 p.m.

Thanks very much to all who participated in our survey! As of March 14, 2011 we've heard back from 157 respondents about their interactions with the Missourian.

Here are a few highlights we found:
The survey found that 29.7 percent of respondents have contributed a comment on an article on

When it comes to Facebook, we found that 42 percent of respondents who are active on the site have 'Like'd us, and 45 percent say they have shared Missourian's content on Facebook. Interestingly, there are more Twitter users who have shared content from the Missourian than ones who actually follow at least one of the Missourian's Twitter accounts (@CoMissourian, @CoMissourianNow, @CoMoSports).

The link below will lead you to the Google Doc where we've compiled more highlights of the survey results. Please take a look, and tell us what you think here in the Comments section.

Harumendhah Helmy

(Report Comment)

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