On a special edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jason Rosenbaum, Tim Lloyd and Kameel Stanley welcomed three journalists from Columbia-based KBIA to take stock of a series of events that rocked the University of Missouri system.
The national media descended upon Columbia last week after University of Missouri system President Tim Wolfe and University of Missouri-Columbia Chancellor Bowen Loftin resigned. These resignations occurred after a movement arose over how African-Americans were treated on campus – culminating with a seven-day hunger strike by graduate student Jonathan Butler.
But as noted by KBIA news director Ryan Famuliner and reporters Bram Sable-Smith and Rebecca Smith, this isn’t a story that appeared out of nowhere. It was, in many respects, a culmination of years – if not decades – of racial tensions at the University of Missouri-Columbia and within the city of Columbia.
So now that many in the national media packed up and went on to the next story, we decided it would be instructive to look at the bigger takeaways from past couple of weeks. Here are some key points we hit on during the show:
- Lloyd and Stanley, the hosts of St. Louis Public Radio’s We Live Here podcast, dug deeper into how Mizzou and other higher education institutions have struggled to hire African-American staff and faculty.
- KBIA's journalists expounded upon how Wolfe and Loftin’s downfalls were not necessarily the results of spontaneous demonstrations, but rather a number of controversies that accumulated over the past few months. That includes how Loftin handled graduate student health care and ties with Planned Parenthood.
- The three KBIA journalists also provided their take on how the national media covered the story – and where they may have lost focus.
- Sable-Smith, a Columbia native, noted the racial divides in college town – including how black children are educated. He and the other journalists discussed how African Americans aren’t always at the public policy table when citywide policies are developed.
Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum
Follow Tim Lloyd on Twitter: @TimSLloyd
Follow Kameel Stanley on Twitter: @cornandpotatoes
Follow Ryan Famuliner on Twitter: @RyanFamuliner
Follow Bram Sable-Smith on Twitter: @besables
Follow Rebecca Smith on Twitter: @Becky_A_Smith
Music: “This Song Was Brought to You By a Falling Bomb” by Thursday