Columbia NPR show celebrates five years of airtime

Monday, February 28, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 3:43 p.m. CDT, Sunday, June 29, 2008

The issues on “Global Journalist,” a weekly radio program aired in Columbia on KBIA/91.3 FM, are broad, sophisticated and often complicated. But the studio where the program is recorded is small and narrow in comparison to the vast and fast-moving global news the program’s producers present each Thursday night.

Current producers of the “Global Journalist,” graduate students from the MU School of Journalism, and moderator Stuart Loory, the Lee Hills Chair in Free-Press Studies, sat down Thursday morning to record a special fifth anniversary broadcast of Global Journalist. Also in the studio was Pat Akers of KBIA, the program’s director.

Euntaek Hong, Pavithra Sarah George, Stefanie von Brochow-

ski and Renata Johnson congregated around the studio’s small table, each wearing matching white T-shirts that read, “For another half decade…Global Journalist Radio.” Loory accidentally pulled his shirt on backward as his team chuckled before it finally let him know of his mistake.

“The idea of the program was to bring our mid-Missouri listeners insights on the current news from guests from all over the world,” Loory said during the broadcast.

The program has hosted almost 1,000 journalists from 79 countries since it started in 2000, commenting on topics including AIDS, the Middle East and gay marriage.

Loory told listeners that “Global Journalist” has weathered interesting and often turbulent news in the past five years. The program’s online archive proves how diverse the topics have been: the Iraqi elections, the Asian tsunami, the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, celebrity journalism and the Olympic games, to name a few.

“Once, a few years back, we were talking to a Palestinian journalist who was on the street in Ramallah,” Loory said into the microphone. “We could hear gunfire in the background coming through his cell phone.”

The anniversary show featured former producers of the program: Patrick Kessler, the Global Journalist’s first producer, now self-employed in Munich, Germany; Tianbo “Billy” Huang, an associate producer at CNN in Georgia; Sara Fajardo, a staff photographer with the Orlando Sentinel; Senad Slatina, chief of the International Crisis Center in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Gaurav Ghose, a reporter for the Gulf Coast Business Review in Florida.

“I thought it would be interesting to hear a little about how their experiences here on the fourth floor of Jesse Hall in KBIA radio affected what they are doing now,” Loory said during the broadcast.

“Can we book you all for Feb. 24, 2010?” he joked as the group closes its discussion.

After the show, Loory’s current group of producers said how great it has been to work with him. Visibly moved, Loory replied, “It has been an honor for me to work with all of you.”

Loory said he wants “Global Journalist” to continue its success.

“I would also like to see it, if possible, syndicated to go to other radio stations,” he said.

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