On Wednesday, according to my newspaper, 13 citizen topic groups hit their deadline for turning in their ideas for what needs to happen to improve our town. I’m betting there will be interesting results.
Missourian reporters Kendra Lueckert and Jewels Phraner on Wednesday tried to meet one of journalism’s higher callings — holding your government accountable — with a story about school district officials’ decision on where to place Columbia’s third major high school.
A couple of weeks ago, 15 Missourian editors went to the woods to talk. I described the goal this way in an earlier letter to you: What is the new compact between the Missourian and the citizens it serves?
Last week, the Missourian reported on a hearing about the school board decision to locate a new high school on South Rangeline Road. The online headline began with “Public unhappy.”
Across the street from the Missourian building, professors and Ph.D. students like me pontificate and ponder about journalism. This week, we got to practice what we preach.
I’ve talked about it before in this space: that you, dear reader, are forcing my profession and your newspaper to re-examine just about everything.
The easiest part of being a journalism professor may be teaching. The toughest part is trying to figure out what journalism will look like when our students are my age.
I’m proud when the Missourian digs deep to find stories others would just as soon keep quiet. I worry, though, that journalists haven’t done enough to stand up to the avalanche of sound bites coming from Washington, and we citizens don’t demand enough from our politicians and our media.
Go figure: A student-soldier is called up to active duty, spends a year serving his or her country, and returns to MU to find the welcome home involves a mess of paperwork and pleas to professors and officials before picking up an education again.
A story we didn’t publish has been the subject of conversations around the Columbia Missourian for the past week or so. Many people have thrown in their opinions on how to handle the firing of Missouri lacrosse club coach Kyle Hawkins.
A Missouri River flood is a strange sort of disaster. Not like a tornado, which forms in an instant and destroys in seconds. Not like an ice storm, which leaves one guessing how much will accumulate and what the impact will be. Not like an earthquake, which comes with no warning and lasts but a moment.
Bill Ferguson isn’t giving up, it seems. He’s convinced his son Ryan didn’t murder Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt in 2001, despite the verdict to the contrary by 12 presumably honest men and women.
News of the shooting that killed 17-year-old Tedarrian Robinson belonged on A1 by most standards.
But did his Life Story several days later deserve the same prominent placement?
Wednesday afternoon, the word came: shooting reported at Reactor Field on MU.
The state Sunshine Law forced officials to release documents that they would rather have kept private. The spirit of the law: Good deeds are rarely done in the dark.
You might have noticed on Election Day that the Missourian did not conduct an exit survey. It might not have been a surprise, however, given last week’s column by my boss, Executive Editor Tom Warhover, in which he wondered aloud and solicited your input about whether we should ask people leaving the polls how they voted and then report the results during the course of the day.
In the November election, senior city editor Scott Swafford sent out nearly 50 reporters to survey voters about their choices. His goal was to produce a story earlier in the day that gave online readers a sense of how the vote was going before the polls closed.
Some of you follow political campaigns more closely than March Madness. (One or two may not even know that the madness refers to NCAA basketball.)