The Missourian Community Outreach Team appreciates all story ideas contributed by our readers. In an effort to integrate your ideas into our story process, we held a community pitch meeting online on March 9.          

Here’s what you asked and what we found out.

You Asked:

Scott Wilson on Facebook: "Why not have that much social media interaction [like we had with True/False] all the time? Reporters can tweet parts of their stories even before they’re finished."

We Found:

With special events, like the True/False Film Fest, we often assign reporters to live tweet and someone to retweet from our official social media accounts. This is before a full-length story is written. It works because special events garner more attention and more traffic on social media. However, we don’t want our social feeds to constantly be filled with bits of information and overload our readers. This is why reporters don’t post directly through our official social media accounts.

You Asked:

Jefferson City NAACP (@JCNAACP) on Twitter: "Why is the University of Missouri system supporting Senate Bill 43?"

We Found:

Senate Bill 43 would change the current burden of proof when it comes to workplace discrimination. If passed, an employee would have to prove that an action was taken “because of” discrimination. Under the current law, employees must make a case that discrimination was a contributing factor.

SB 43 is part of a group of legislation that is similar to House Bill 552 and House Bill 550. The three bills would change parts of the Missouri Human Rights Act.

According to previous Missourian reporting, former interim UM System President Michael Middleton issued a statement regarding the system’s support specifically for House Bill 552. In the statement he said:

“In legal terms, the UM system wants to be treated the same as other public entities including state government agencies and local municipalities when it comes to the issue of punitive damages in discrimination cases,” Middleton wrote. “Proposed legislation pending in the General Assembly (HB 552) would exempt the state and its political subdivisions from punitive damages in discrimination lawsuits. The University specifically and narrowly testified recently in favor of the punitive damages portion of HB 552.”

You Asked:

Melinda Finnegan on Facebook: "How are businesses affected downtown by the construction and added traffic? Is it good or bad?" 

We Found:

Unfortunately, we didn't find a lot.

According to previous Missourian reporting, we know that three building projects were mid-development in April 2016 amid controversy and debate over restrictions placed on building projects.

We also know that there is genuine concern from downtown residential areas over the increase in residential construction. Some residents worry that the increase in apartment buildings and community housing will cause overcrowding and devaluation of some neighborhoods and homes.

Finally, we just ran a story about downtown trash management. A new city ordinance demands that housing built after March 20 must include in-house trash services. This is to combat the strain on city workers because of overflowing trash receptacles.

However, we don’t have any coverage of how the construction, which has resulted in street closures and increased traffic, affects businesses downtown. 

Great pitch, though. We’ll look into it.

You Asked:

Joe Bradley on Facebook: "The Day Dreams Foundation is hosting a bubble soccer tournament this Saturday and the deadline to submit entries to their Dream Big Bracket is March 15."

We Found:

Great suggestion. Our sister publication, VOX Magazine, sent a multimedia reporter to cover the event. Stay tuned for the full story on its site. A Missourian photographer captured some really cool photos as well. 

You Asked:

Kathryn Roberts on Facebook: "Barrage 8 is the concert Sunday night at Missouri Theater. The leader is a CoMO native and the proceeds from the concert goes to support Missouri Youth Orchestra!"

We Found:

There are some posts from the Missouri Symphony Society that talk about the benefit concert as well as a special music workshop called "Too Wow for Words."

We will double check to see if there are any reporters on this event. Maybe you’ll see a story about it on Monday. Stay tuned.

Do you have an idea that you would like to see in the Missourian? Submit your ideas to our new Community Pitch Forum page or tune into to one of our biweekly Thursday night livestream pitch meetings on Facebook and Twitter. 

  • Currently a reporter with PolitiFact Missouri. I'm studying investigative journalism and political science and call San Jose, California home. You can reach me by email: gracehase@mail.mizzou.edu or on Twitter: @grace_hase

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