Remembering Roy Malone

If you got a tip that state police were fixing tickets for big shots and political figures, how would you check it out? In 1980, I worked on just such a story with Roy Malone, my friend and former colleague at the AP and then the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. I didn’t do much work on…

Are Social Media Accounts Public Records?

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A court case may be needed to determine whether Missouri’s Open Records Law applies to public officials’ social media accounts. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley wrote a letter in February concluding that the office of Gov. Eric Greitens is not required to turn over records from his Facebook and Twitter accounts.…

Did we do that? The media’s responsibility of reporting on celebrity politicians

Most of my college career has been spent in one form or another in a newsroom. Now I spend a great deal of my time in newsrooms revolving around blunder after blunder of Donald Trump and his administration.  Every day there seems to be media coverage of some outlandish quote, tweet or action Trump has shared with the world.  While we as the media dutifully cover such events, I have never heard anyone…

The Tribune’s “Tragedy”

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Eighteen months after GateHouse Media bought the family-owned Columbia Daily Tribune, the staff has been slashed, readers are frustrated and circulation has plunged. No doubt daily newspapers have retrenched within the last 10 years in the face of market challenges. But the Tribune has been bled dry to achieve financial results. As…

Kids report shootings – no kidding

David Hogg, the 17-year-old news director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s TV station, crouches on the floor of a darkened classroom.  He grabs his phone, flips on the video camera and starts asking questions.  He speaks just above a whisper, because somewhere on campus – nobody knows where – a gunman with an assault…

#MeToo, the press and due process

President Donald J. Trump’s sad soliloquy for departing White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter and Trump’s plaintive plea for Due Process for men is both confused and hypocritical. First, due process is a primarily a legal term, although it is sometimes is used in a broader sense outside the law as a synonym for fairness.…