|▴Name||▴At MDN||▴#||▴MDN Roles|
During the 32 years for which there are complete records of students, it had a two or more dozen students dozen per semester -- probably a record for any statehouse journalism reporting program in the country.
Besides students from MU and Lincoln University, journalism participants in the program included foreign visitors and students from a long list of countries across the world including Benin, China, Columbia, El Salvador, Germany, India, Italy, Ivory Coast, Macedonia, Mexico, Nigeria, Phillippines, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Uzebekistan.
MDN's objective for our foreign participants was to provide better understanding about the relationship of journalists, public officials and politicans in a democratic society -- both the positive and the negative.
Over the years, Missouri Digital News grew to provide coverage for Missouri newspapers, Missouri public radio stations, the Journalism School's TV station (KOMU), CBS-operated KMOX Radio in St. Louis, occasional stores for CBS radio network and assistance in producing a weekly statehouse half-hour program on state government issues for Missouri's public TV stations. And, of course, there's MDN's own worldwide website of unique statehouse databases.
For the first 20 years of the State Government Reporting Program, there were no micro computers in the newsroom and, thus, no digital records of participants. Students from those first two decades have been manually added based on paper records.
Unfortunately, for the 1970s and 1984, student records are almost completely missing (although we're still searching). If a question mark appears under the At MDN column, it indicates the specific semester(s) the student worked at the bureau is uncertain.
The buttons above each column will sort the list by that column. A first click will put the list ascending order, a second click of the same column will put the list in descending order.
- Name: For students at MDN in 1995 or later, the name will be a link to the student's MDN home page that will contain a short biography and links to stories produced by those students.
For most MDNers, there will no link prior to 1995, because MDN.ORG did not exist. Founded in 1995, Missouri Digital News is one of the world's first all-news websites in 1995, missing being first by just a few years. Although, I've added a few pages for deceased students from earlier years before MDN's website.
There are some limitations to those MDN home pages. Biographies and photos in the early years years of MDN. Very few those have been updated since the students graduated. The depth of the biographies are beginning, Some are short and shallow, others extensive.
Second, we never got added into MDN's newsroom system a television scripting program. So we have no record of the hundreds of stories produced at MDN for KOMU-TV by the numerous MDN TV reporters
- At MDN: This field is a bit misleading. It represents the first semester a student worked at MDN followed by the final semester.
Few students participated at MDN during the university's summer break. For many students, conflicting course requirements would require skipping a semester to fulfill a class required for graduation.
So, this date spread effectively is the first year-month an MDNer began and the final year-month (usually the year of graduation.
- #: This represents the number of semesters a student was a reporter in the statehouse.
If you sort the list by the longest, the top three deserve special note.
∞ represents the two who continue with MDN, me and Missy Shelton Belote who was an MDN student and then, for several years, a partner in helping MDN as a statehouse reporter and news director of Springfield's public radio station, KSMU. She also is an MDN.ORG board director.
The next below us, Sarah Wire with six semesters deserves a special note. It's a record of semesters at MDN, starting a full year before she was in the Journalism School.
It's a demonstration of her passion in covering public policy, but also her skills to find ways around academic restrictions in getting credit for off-campus programs.
A subsequent subsequent demonstration's of Sarah's journalist skills was demonstrated by her election by Washington reporters as chair of the Standing Committee of Correspondents which governs accreditation of Capitol Hill reporters.
- Roles: This column designates the medium or media for which which a student produced stories at MDN. The list is in chronological order starting with the medium or media for which a student produced stories in the first semester.
This column also is a bit misleading. MDN emerged to become fully converged newsroom. Most of MDN's students who were from a specific medium course, like newspaper reporting, ended up producing stories for other media.
Further, students often formed multi-media teams in which they shared reporting responsibilities for a story. Further, students regularly produced digital and social media postings.
The Editor category designates students hired to help manage MDN and edit the stories of fellow, less-experienced students. Some of these editors members were fellows for KMOX Radio, the weekly TV program for Missouri public TV (Jeff City Journal) and MPA News (MDN's service to Missouri Press Association newspapers). That newspaper service included separate stories along with a weekly summary of major statehouse news often written by MPA fellows.
For most of these editors, their editing and supervisory tasks were so intense that they were unable to produce many, if any, of their own stories. So, do not mistake the absence of story links to indicate lower production. Far, far from it!
With as many as three dozen students during legislative sessions serving such a wide variety of media, Missouri Digital News could not have succeeded without the assistance and dedication of the student editors.
Phill Brooks retired from the Missouri Journalism School in 2015.
But as an emeritus faculty member, he continued supervising students in the statehouse until 2017 as an adjunct emeritus, professor.
But that ceased in 2017 when the school hired a full-time State Government Reporting Program director and the school's relationship with MDN ceased.
But without a body of student reporters, it was impossible to continue a comprehensive, quality MDN service of near year-round original reporting.
However, Brooks continues part-time coverage for KMOX, produces a weekly column for MPA newspapers and continues MDN.ORG as a unique database resource of Missouri state government information.