Journalism

Paul Sableman | Flickr | http://bit.ly/28QjQfu

Ever wondered about that Optimist International building on Lindell across from the Basilica?

If you have, you’re not alone. Although many St. Louisans may be unfamiliar with the non-profit organization, Optimist International has over 2,500 clubs in 35 different countries. Its mission is serving youth, and its headquarters are located here in St. Louis.

Charles Bogel | Wikimedia Commons

CBS journalist Lesley Stahl, most widely known for her work on 60 Minutes, has interviewed heads of state, covered Watergate and broken scores of political news stories throughout her journalism career. Now, Stahl is facing a new challenge: “Becoming Grandma.”

Stahl has written a new book about “The Joys and Science of New Grandparenting,” and joined host Don Marsh to discuss her experience learning to become a grandmother.

Writer and journalist Sarah Kendzior joined "St. Louis on the Air" in studio.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Many have come to know St. Louis-based writer Sarah Kendzior by her Twitter, on which she posts eloquently and (by necessity) concisely about segregation, poverty, racial bias, and aggressive policing in the region.

State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, points to a sign last August in Ferguson. Chappelle-Nadal was one of the many political figures who felt transformed by Michael Brown's death.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

William Freivogel, professor of public policy at SIU-Carbondale, recently labeled the widespread use of social media following the death of Michael Brown as “America’s Arab Spring.”

The international parallels are clear: a swell of ‘citizen journalists’ live-tweeting, streaming, and blogging protests and confrontations; Internet-based organization and galvanization of grassroots movements; and the use of social media as an alternative source of news.

The Current in the 1960s and today.
courtesy The Current

The student newspaper at the University of Missouri-St. Louis has launched a crowdfunding campaign to keep the paper afloat next school year.

This time last year the student government association declined to give The Current any money from student fees, so the paper now is funded solely through advertising and donations.

Ferguson Firsthand user at True/False
Courtesy of Dan Archer

Can you imagine what it would have been like to be at the Canfield Green apartments when Michael Brown was shot? Graphic journalist Dan Archer can. He’s created a virtual representation of that day based on eyewitness accounts, news reports and grand jury testimony.

courtesy photo

As an author and a broadcaster, Amy Goodman has made a name for herself as a passionate voice for alternative perspectives. In her role as the host and executive producer of independent news program Democracy Now!, both she and her show have garnered multiple awards.

St. Louis Public Radio

There’s a new news aggregator in town: RealtimeSTL.com, brought to you by the former regional editor of Patch STL, Kurt Greenbaum. The website curates news about St. Louis based on what is trending on social media.

“We’re bringing together sources of information from all over the St. Louis area. And we’re trying to organize this in a way so that readers can really find out what people are talking about in St. Louis,” Greenbaum said.

(Courtesy Cinema St. Louis)

The systematic plagiarism and fabrication of then-New York Times reporter Jayson Blair a decade ago represents one of the most flagrant and grievous breaks in journalistic trust in modern times. It was a black mark against one of the World's flagship newspapers when his deception was revealed, prompting a detailed retraction from the Times and internal restructuring within the organization.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor of a federal "shield" law on Thursday, but still refused to include Julian Assange, Edward Snowden or citizen bloggers in the group of protected journalists.

A shield law allows a journalist to protect a confidential source unless the government can present a compelling reason, such as national security, to demand the source's name. Most states have shield laws but there is no federal law.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: National security reporting exists in a legal world just as murky as the intelligence community it covers. It a world of uncertainty with conflicting constitutional interests, laws, customs and policies. 

The government has a legitimate interest in protecting intelligence secrets by prosecuting government employees who violate their legal pledge to keep classified information secret.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Contrary to conventional wisdom, the proposed federal shield law backed by the press and President Barack Obama wouldn’t help reporters protect their sources in big national security cases, such as the recent ones involving the AP and James Rosen of Fox.  In fact, the law could make it harder for the press to protect sources in those cases.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Dear Beaconites -

Here's the back story on Back Stories, a blog that will kick off in the Beacon soon with a post from reporter Mary Delach Leonard. Through frequent updates, Beacon staff will use Back Stories to share some questions they're asking and some answers they're finding.