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Dear Reader

Dear Reader: Missourian’s new approach is immediate delivery on Web

Liz Heitzman, the Missourian’s immediacy editor, describes the newspaper’s new approach to delivering news — constant and immediate coverage via the Web site.

What appears to be no news can be news after all

On Tuesday, your Missourian published a story about the refusal by leaders of Columbia Public Schools to provide a list of property owners they contacted during the search for a site for a high school. The article appeared on the front page, below the fold, but with a headline large enough to grab your attention.

Was this news? It’s a valid question. Let’s face it.

Everybody gets to participate in gathering the news

It’s not every day that you get a headline like “helicopter crashes” in our fair town. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure the last time I saw one of those birds flitting above the tree line. But crash we had on Tuesday.

NFL decides not to be sporting about journalists at pro events

The big leaguers in the newspaper industry — associations with acronyms and memberships of top editors — have been sending letters of protest to the NFL this summer. The fuss: new rules.

Looking for ways to help Columbia envision the future

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.

Watching the school board is a group effort by journalists, citizens

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.

New insights for the future of your newspaper born at retreat

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?

Dialogue and community input lacking in choice of school site

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.”

Transparency in the newsroom makes for better journalism

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.

Readers, editors are starting to define a new relationship

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.

Join the community gathering at MyMissourian.com

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.

It’s good to see America regaining the courage to protest

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.

Remembering our veterans, alive and dead

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.

When ‘why’ can’t be answered, there is no story

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.

Predictions of mass flooding didn’t hold water, reporting did

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.

Web video of Erikson’s confession illustrates community journalism

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.

Response to page 1A placement warrants greater discussion

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?

For breaking news, newspapers must label information accordingly

Wednesday afternoon, the word came: shooting reported at Reactor Field on MU.

New online Missourian sheds light on the city’s darker deeds

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.

In a world of 24-hour reports, sometimes less means more

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.

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