Bailey Otto's Profile
Public Life reporter, Columbia Missourian
Cell: (573) 535-4502
WHAT DO YOU DO AT THE MISSOURIAN?
I reported for the Public Life beat, which covers city, county and state government. I also worked GA shifts where I answered calls for the newsroom and covered breaking news.
WHAT KIND OF JOURNALISM KEEPS YOU GOING?
I believe it’s important for the public to be aware of the actions of government officials. It’s a facet of watchdog journalism. We need to be in the room, deciphering reports and legislation and informing citizens of what’s going on and why they should care. It’s getting people the news they need to make informed political decisions in a democracy. I also enjoy hearing what people have to say about these issues. I strive for balanced and transparent reporting, because I believe that is what gives journalists the opportunity to create a forum for citizens to discuss what’s going on.
WHAT’S YOUR BACKGROUND?
I’m from the historic little town of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, where I spent several years as a tour guide of French colonial homes. I’m now a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Columbia, working on a Bachelors of Journalism and a Bachelors of Arts in political science. I spent a year and a half working for the Maneater, the student-run newspaper on campus. I covered the Political beat and worked as a copy editor. Through these positions, I gained experience in establishing solid contacts with political campus organizations and covering events such as rallies and political writers and commentators visiting MU.
WHAT’S YOUR LIFE OUTSIDE OF WORK LIKE?
I’m involved with several campus organizations, holding offices like chief justice of the MSA Student Court and marketing chair of Autism Speaks U at Mizzou, to list a few. I’m a voracious reader and enjoy biking as a stress reliever. I enjoy Nertz nights with friends, bonfires and midnight runs to iHop.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT COLUMBIA?
It’s welcoming, and Columbia’s size doesn’t dictate the closeness of its community, so it’s not nearly as big as it first seems. I come from a small town where festivals, art galleries and community events happen constantly. I was pleasantly surprised my first year to find that same sort of spirit here in Columbia. It echoes back to Ste. Gen., and it feels comfortable for me. Columbia was a bit daunting at first. But I quickly fell in love with it. There’s room to move, but it’s easy to still feel at home. And for me, that’s a top priority.