The grand jury has made its decision. Thanksgiving is over. Christmas is approaching. And still, Ferguson-related protests continue.
This week, they materialized outside “Annie” at the Fox, in Jennings and in several other cities. Many St. Louisans are wondering when the unrest will end.
You can’t answer that question without asking others. What do protesters want? Who speaks for them? Who holds the power to solve the problems they raise? None of these perfectly logical questions has an easy answer.
New positions or new to St. Louis: News producer and weekend newscaster Camille Phillips, health reporter Durrie Bouscaren, race and culture reporting fellow Emanuele Berry, and arts and culture reporter Willis Arnold.
Next week marks the one-year anniversary of a big change at St. Louis Public Radio. It transformed our work, but you may not know how.
So let’s celebrate the merger of St. Louis Public Radio and the St. Louis Beacon by considering why it matters. It’s simple. At a time when news media are undergoing historic upheaval and when news coverage of St. Louis has never mattered more, the merger has enabled us to serve you better.
The bleak reality of St. Louis this Thanksgiving casts the holiday in shadows deeper than any I can recall – save one other year.
Those shadows harbor our region’s flaws – recent and longstanding, absurd and epic, unwitting and unforgivable. Since Aug. 9, these shortcomings have been on display in stark silhouette against the unrelenting spotlight of international media attention.
St. Louisans may disagree on many things related to Michael Brown’s death, but we’ve been united in anxiety during the long wait for a St. Louis County grand jury’s decision on whether to charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
When? What then? How will that affect each of us immediately and all of us long term? These questions have been hanging over everyone — from those directly involved in the protest or law enforcement to those who live far from Ferguson and see no direct connection to the issues raised there.
Imagine a split screen view of St. Louis. In one image, events in Ferguson are driving intense interest in a daunting array of community issues. They can’t be resolved without leadership from elected officials. In the other image, candidates are running for office in an election Tuesday that has attracted almost no interest.
What’s wrong with this picture? In a democracy, voters hold the ultimate power. Yet many citizens are having a hard time seeing what difference their votes will make.
Judging from the unscientific sampling of opinion I’ve heard over the last two months, St. Louisans have starkly different answers to that question. Some are fed up. Others think news organizations are only beginning to pay appropriate attention to police-community tensions, African American experiences and issues of racial disparity.
Some Ferguson protesters caused a stir this week with demonstrations that confronted people outside Ferguson — first at Powell Hall, where the St. Louis Symphony was performing the Brahms Requiem, and later at Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals were winning the division championship.
The bomb strikes in Syria this week put the spotlight on the Khorasan group, a little-known offshoot of al-Qaida. But once again, as skeptics on the left and right so often suspect, the media don’t seem to be telling the whole story.
The media didn't tell you, for example, that in St. Louis, we spell Khorassan with a double S – or that we're already quite familiar with the sometimes-controversial history of a local group with Khorassan connections.
Six weeks after Michael Brown’s death, certain key demands and questions are reverberating from the Big Bang of protest that erupted in Ferguson. Priorities seem to be emerging even though the protesters themselves – and the official and unofficial groups discussing what should happen -- have conflicting ideas and no central organization.