Editor's Weekly

Traci Blackmon
stlpositivechange.org

Like flares on a highway, some of the headlines that flashed by in recent days signal danger.

First came good news from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. St. Louis labor unions have agreed to work 24-hours a day with no overtime to quickly build a football stadium. That's proof that St. Louisans can rise to the occasion – in this case, the perceived crisis of losing an NFL team – when we see that the region’s reputation and future are at stake.

St. Louis Public Radio switched to a new website design this week, and the reaction was generally positive. The most common complaint was confusion about how to listen to radio streams through the website, and we're working to make that clearer.

at the post office s. grand 11.26
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

News organizations should focus outward on what’s happening in our communities and how we can serve them better. But our ability to focus outward is affected by many internal factors. Two developments this week, will in different ways, shape how St. Louis Public Radio serves you.

Police and protesters scuffle after police union business manager Jeff Roorda allegedly grabbed a protester at a January 28 meeting oh the public safety committee.
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

The subpoena served on St. Louis Public Radio Thursday is both baffling and disturbing.

Rotary Club of Overland mug
Margaret Wolf Freivogel

It was still dark when the Rotary Club of Overland gathered Wednesday morning at Russo’s restaurant on Page. At a time when north St. Louis County is in the international spotlight for what’s wrong, the meeting cast a sliver of light on what’s right.

In the months since Michael Brown’s death at the hands of then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, North County has been at the center of a debate of cosmic proportions. It concerns long-simmering, wide-ranging issues of race, fairness and opportunity.

(St. Louis Public Radio file photo)

Think what you will of the proposal to spend at least $860 million on a new football stadium, the announcement last week revealed a few telling things about St. Louis:

Rams media

Discussion of Ferguson-related issues continued to simmer this week. Meanwhile, questions about the Rams’ future boiled into prominence.

Oddly, the two conversations are happening mostly in isolation from each other, even though both revolve around the same fundamental concern: How to create a future for our region that will make St. Louisans want to stay and newcomers want to come?

Demonstrators calling for justice for Eric Garner and Michael Brown held a moment of silence outside the Fox Theatre on Sunday, December 7, 2014.
Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

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.

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.
Photos provided by the journalists

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.

Shells of used cars are all that remain after they were destroyed by fire during a night of turmoil in Ferguson Nov. 25.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

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.

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