Dear reader,

It’s been about two months since I started in my role as Opinion editor for the Missourian, so this is a belated introduction.

I’ve been working behind the scenes with our editing and production desks for more than 15 years. Now, I’m ready to have a more direct relationship with our readers.

As Opinion editor, my job is to help select the commentary pieces and work with our regular columnists, whom you already read on this page. The Missourian is unusual in that it does not have a traditional editorial board to offer commentary on community issues. We look to local columnists to help with that.

Another part of my job is to review the letters to the editor and work with guest writers who want to have a voice in our community.

We welcome new submissions; I’m looking to add diverse opinions and ideas to our current Opinion lineup. Submissions between 250 to 400 words are usually standard for letters to the editor; longer pieces will be considered for guest commentaries. You can email your submissions to me directly at or use one of our online forms.

We always welcome feedback on stories, but we had to make a change to our feedback form on the website. You will now need to login to your Missourian account or create an account to complete the feedback form. Registering an account is free. If you prefer to email us, you can reach all editors by emailing

I hope you’ll consider writing and sharing feedback with us. We want to hear what’s important to you.

Regular readers might have noticed a change recently in how we identify the editors who supervise a particular story that’s been published. We’ve previously included a line at the end of each story that we called a “supervising editor tagline.” This included the name of the editor and a link to their online contact information.

Now that appears under the reporter’s bio (or reporters’ bios) at the bottom of each story. You’ll see a separate bio for the editor under the reporter’s name (or reporters' names). Here’s an example from the story about presidential primaries published Friday that lists both the reporters, Skylar Laird and Baylee Konen, and Scott Swafford, who manages our public life beat.

If you’re reading in print and need to find the name of an editor, you can see that list and contact information on the left-hand rail on Page 2 under the weather data.

You will likely hear from some of my newsroom colleagues throughout the coming months as we move into election season and the height of the state legislative session.

Laura Johnston is member of the Missourian's  Interactive Copy Editing staff and an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism.

  • News editor at the interactive copy desk and an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism.

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