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Columbia Missourian

FROM THE NEWSROOM: How are reporters assigned to a beat?

By Lizzie Johnson
November 4, 2013 | 7:23 p.m. CST

Welcome to From the Newsroom, the section dedicated to answering your questions about the Missourian. Our goal is to be transparent about our practices and processes and to invite our readers behind the scenes of what we do. Suggest topics you’d like to see explained by contacting Joy Mayer at or 573-882-8182.

Newspapers typically organize their newsrooms into coverage areas or beats. That allows reporters and editors to cover stories or topics over time — to become experts on those topics and to foster relationships with key sources.


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At the Missourian, we are organized into these beats:

Incoming reporters at the Missourian indicate their beat preference and submit an application, essay and three journalistic writing samples. They are then assigned to a beat and to that beat's faculty editor.

Supervising editor is Joy Mayer