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Candidates’ Forum: Missouri Governor’s Race

Posted by Grace Lillard on September 11, 2008

On the anniversary of the September 11th attacks and the second day of the J-School Centennial, the candidates for the Missouri gubernatorial race met on campus to take part in the first of a series of debates before the November election.  The combined reverence for this date and the nearby celebration of the history of journalism reminded everyone in the room that the fundamentals of democracy, anchored in free speech and press, must ultimately be upheld in order to preserve our great nation.

Moderator of today’s forum was David Lieb of the Associated Press.  The panelists included Terry Ganey, of the Columbia Daily Tribune and the Missouri Press Association; Jennifer Kovaleski of KOMU; Chad Day, of the Columbia Missourian; and Juana Summers of KBIA.

The four candidates began with five minute opening statements.  According to the procedure of drawing numbers, the Republican candidate, Kenny Hulshof, began the remarks.  His platform is one of “bold proposals” to inspire change in Missouri.  Hulshof stated that while he esteems his opponent, Attorney General Jay Nixon, the beauty of our democracy is that he can do so while disagreeing with him on certain issues.  Hulshof summarized that he can offer the people of Missouri a new direction, as an alternative to the old politics they are used to.

The Libertarian candidate, Andy Finkenstadt, followed.  Finkenstadt introduced himself as a computer software engineer who knows how to solve problems put before him and address any issue in a methodical way.  The name of the Libertarian Party, he said, is derived from the word “liberty” and therefore is the only party that seeks a world where all individuals are sovereign over themselves.  He promised the people of the state of Missouri the right to live in whatever manner they choose, as long as their actions do not encroach upon the rights of others.  “Your right to swing your fist stops at my nose,” Finkenstadt explained.  If elected governor, Finkenstadt would reduce taxes by reducing the size of government, in accordance with the Libertarian platform.

In his opening statements, the Democratic candidate, Jay Nixon, noted that on the anniversary of 9/11 we should all remember what it is that unites us as Americans, and put aside partisan attacks.  He said that the state of Missouri is at a crossroads, and that he can provide the best course of action to solve problems of rising health care costs, higher college tuitions, loss of jobs, and an inefficient elementary education system.

Completing the opening statements was Greg Thompson of the Constitutional Party.  His platform, he said, is founded on God and the desire to turn our country around.  The past decades have seen “an assault on our godly heritage” and increasing levels of corruption.  As Missouri’s leader, Thompson vowed to restore the idea of government serving the people, instead of the people feeling that they must serve their government.  He also emphasized the importance of seeing beyond the two party system.  “God,” he said, “will never honor voting for the least of two evils.”

As the rounds of questioning began, it was interesting to see how each candidate’s answers reflected his previously stated position.  For example, Finkenstadt responded to questions on health care, alternative energy, and education by saying that they should be allocated by the free market, and not by government design.  Thompson answered his questions from the viewpoint of placing the sovereignty of God first and taking control out of the hands of men.  Nixon and Hulshof comprised the norm of the Democratic/Republican debate, disagreeing to a point but remaining relatively close to the middle of voter opinion.

There was one opportunity for rebuttal offered after Nixon brought up a controversy between himself and his opponent Hulshof, on the issue of campaign contribution limits.  The air between the two became noticeably charged, and for a moment, it appeared that Nixon’s appeal to non partisanship might be put by the wayside.  After a neutralizing comment by moderator David Lieb to the effect that time would not allow for “a rebuttal to the rebuttal,” the atmosphere regained its peaceable nature.

I felt that today’s debate was a refreshing take on political discussion, giving people the opportunity to hear not from just two candidates, but from representatives of four different political parties.  As the afternoon demonstrated, the citizens of Missouri have four men eager and willing to lead their state on a new path towards the future.  November will tell whose direction the people will take.


Posted in Media, Thursday | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

No answer to meet new media challenges, but there’s definitely hope

Posted by Suvro Banerji on September 11, 2008

(from left) Brady Deaton, Maria Alfaro, Bruno Patino, Dean Mills

Alright, just got back from the Future’s Forum. Educating the Next generation posed a very important question: How do we meet the rising challenges of new media. We had three distinguished guests in our panel representing three different models of journalism from three different countries: Maria Alfaro from University of Navarra School of Communication (Spain), Bruno Patino from Sciences Po (Paris, France) and Dean Mills, dean of Missouri School of Journalism.

Alfaro and Patino are facing similar challenges we are facing here. The new media in the internet age is challenging traditional news media like newspapers, radio and even television. Columbia Missourian is facing financial challenges, but so are other newspapers.

So how do we fix this problem? The panelists really didn’t have a specific answer. “There’s an enormous commonality in approaching these challenges,” Mills said.

One thing was evident though- there’s hope- hope to fix these challenges, hope to embrace the new era, hope to make things better. The Reynold’s Journalism Institute will be destination to meet those challenges.

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Alumni unite!

Posted by Jen Lee Reeves on September 10, 2008

Our YouTube channel is starting to gather some really cool perspectives from alumni. This is one of the lessons learned from Susan Davidson who stopped by the YouTube stations:

While we’re capturing these stories, there’s been some really interesting conversations on Twitter. If you would like to look in, check out the tweets marked with our hashtag #mizzou. There have been some really interesting revelations about the Columbia Missourian and its future.

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Get ready to rumble!!

Posted by Jen Lee Reeves on September 10, 2008

I’m up early today because my mind can’t stop about all the cool stuff we’re planning this week. I was in the new building late last night setting up cameras for my big YouTube project. Alumni: Visit the YouTube/Apple tables where we have a camera set up to ask three questions:

*Where did you go after you graduated?
*What lessons have you learned in your career that you’d like to share?
*What is your fondest memory of the journalism school?

I recorded this little piece of video straight into YouTube last night — The audio is a little off, but I’ll work on that once my kids wake up and I can give them a couple of hugs before I leave the house for a long day.

Also, the coverage of the centennial continues since I last linked to a couple of websites. KOMU did a story on the centennial and a look at how journalism is changing. The project is reported by Ashley Reynolds (who graduates in December) and field produced with some help from Robert Kessler (who is a sophomore). Ashley put together a HUGE project researching autism and the many sides of that challenging illness. Anytime she takes on a project, you know it’s going to be big. If you’d like to meet her, let me know!

The Columbia Missourian previewed the centennial event in this article. Learn about a documentary viewing that is part of the centennial event, learn about the big barbecue that kicks off the centennial excitement tonight, an investigative journalism panel during the event, the centennial song, a comedic play on journalism ethics, and how the economy is keeping journalists from attending the centennial event. Be sure to click on the paper’s Centennial Visitor’s Guide link on the right hand side of this blog – It’s under the title “Helpful Links.”

If you know of any centennial coverage I’ve missed, let me know!!

Posted in Media, Preparations | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »