Harlan J. Wilson, D.D.S, P.C.
#Muckedup chat with Messenger Live
Tony Messenger, the editorial page editor for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, joined an online Twitter chat Tuesday night to discuss Ferguson coverage, and the opinion page's cooperation with The Guardian to gather stories of racial profiling. The Twitter account for Muck Rack, a website for journalists and public relations professionals, moderated the discussion, which used the hashtag #muckedup. The hashtag is used for all of Muck Rack's weekly discussions.
As with many Twitter chats, many side questions were asked and several other conversations were sparked.
The #muckedup chat included questions directly for Messenger, followed by questions for others following along. Below are Messenger's answers to the moderator's questions, then some of the audience's answers to the moderator's questions.
Tonight we tackle the contentious topic of #Ferguson in greater detail, w/ help from a @STLToday journo: http://t.co/s67cl9jD3h #muckedup
Please welcome @tonymess, editorial page editor with @STLToday & member of Assoc. of Opinion Journalists! #muckedup http://t.co/WnP6nzWOEd
A lauded journalist, @tonymess earned the #BurlOsborneAward for Editorial Leadership from @NewsEditors & the #WalkerStoneAward. #muckedup
Here's a recent column by @tonymess after visiting the scene: "Finding an American story in #Ferguson." http://t.co/VTmTOWc1fN #muckedup
A video editorial produced by @tonymess when the protests/police response were most intense in #Ferguson: http://t.co/4Ic9WcLuL4 #muckedup
More background on @STLToday's coverage: "Lessons from #Ferguson: We earned this." http://t.co/JpvfMQ8uus #muckedup #michaelbrown
Still more @STLToday coverage of #Ferguson: #MichaelBrown and the disparity of due process - http://t.co/mhTBY1daMB #muckedup
Q1a to @tonymess: Over the course of 3 weeks, a lot has happened in the #Ferguson. How have you seen the narrative, etc. evolve? #muckedup
@muckrack Every day brings a new angle or moment. I think the funeral of Michael Brown will be a turning point. Protests changing #muckedup
@muckrack Early story was the shock of the death, then protests, then rioting, now funeral. On editorial page, our focus is ... #muckedup
@muckrack ... the underlying story. Poverty. Racial divide. Divided community. Poor police training. How to fix big problems. #muckedup
@muckrack Protests are now smaller and away from #Ferguson, at courthouse or prosecutor's office, or city hall. They won't stop. #muckedup
Q2a to @tonymess: @SLToday is local & more familiar w/ #Ferguson. How has it set apart your coverage from that of national media? #muckedup
@muckrack @SLToday I think it has helped us (and other local media) tell the deeper, long-lasting stories of the racial divide. #muckedup
@tonymess @muckrack I've noticed this in STL news coverage. More historical context in stories as inter/natl media leave. #muckedup
@muckrack As well as the complication that this isn't so much about Ferguson but the St. Louis region. #muckedup
@muckrack That being said, I believe the national coverage has also been outstanding. How outsiders see us is important story. #muckedup
@muckrack While much of @stltoday coverage has been day-to-day, some of the "think pieces" from outside media point to solutions. #muckedup
@muckrack It's been amazing to see my colleagues do incredible work on this story. It's just beginning. #muckedup
#MuckedUp, Thanks for your answer, @TonyMess, I was wondering how you locals viewed the national #journalism coverage.
@JosephSapia Some locals turned off by cable TV coverage. But from my standpoint, the whole media package has been important. #muckedup
Q3a to @tonymess: Tell us about this week's pending collaborative effort with the Guardian. What inspired it & what can we expect? #muckedup
@muckrack When Ferguson story broke, I knew we needed to do something to expand our reach. So much more than a local story. ... #muckedup
@muckrack I had met @sullduggery at a dinner and had been following the work of @GuardianUS and thought he might be game. #muckedup
@muckrack We came up with a digital project asking people to tell us in their own words their stories of racial profiling ... #muckedup
@muckrack We will both publish in our own platforms stories from St. Louisans and others telling about their police experiences. #muckedup
@muckrack Hopefully (fingers crossed) we publish at @stltoday and @GuardianUS later this week. #muckedup
#MuckedUp: @tonymess, do they have to sign names to it or have use of their names, as in just-a-few-yrs-ago #Journalism? Anonymous = danger.
@JosephSapia These are all real people. With names and home towns, and photos in many cases (tried to get them for all). #muckedup
Q4a to @tonymess from @JournalismEnds: Have media made too much of journalists being arrested? Any mole hills made into mountains? #muckedup
@muckrack @JournalismEnds Yes. Though it did contribute to an international understanding of the situation. #muckedup
@muckrack @JournalismEnds Of course, I am currently in a Tweet chat about how the media covered Ferguson, so: Pot. Kettle. Meta. #muckedup
Q5a to @tonymess: What lessons have you gleaned in covering #Ferguson? Any applicable to national/local journalists elsewhere? #muckedup
@muckrack Audience has changed. It's global. More important than ever to fight through the haze to let real people tell story. #muckedup
@muckrack We have to find a way to step back from the NOW of what we do and think, connect dots, offer perspective. #muckedup
@muckrack This is a selfish one, but opinion journalism matters. We have to get beyond traditional right/left voices. #muckedup
@muckrack On editorial page over past two weeks, we skipped our syndicated columns almost every day to find local Ferguson pieces #muckedup
@muckrack I received very few calls wondering where Gerson or Dionne or Krauthammer were. Opened my eyes a bit. #muckedup
To view responses from the audience, click the right and left arrows on the slideshow of tweets below the question from Muck Rack:
Q1b for everyone: What have each of you observed in the #Ferguson narrative since you began following it? #muckedup
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Q2b to everyone: What differences, if any, have you noted between #Ferguson coverage, depending on outlet? Significance? #muckedup
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Q3b to all: What do you think of a nat'l/global outlet collaborating with local one to tell a local story w/ global impact? #muckedup
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Q4b to all: Your turn. Has anything seemed overblown by outside media: journalist arrests or otherwise? #muckedup
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Q5b to all: Has #Ferguson coverage opened your eyes to any new themes or lessons you'll carry with you in your own work? #muckedup
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Some people following the chat had questions for Messenger:
@tonymess @muckrack Tony, has police training (or lack of) been a long-running problem in the city? #muckedup
@davemeddows @muckrack The problem is that St. Louis is broken into tiny municipalities, so training is difference across region. #muckedup
@tonymess Is there a case - across the US really - for policing to be state controlled? To standardise training, oversight etc? #muckedup
@davemeddows @muckrack There are 90 municipalities in St. Louis County. That is a big part of the problem in #Ferguson story. #muckedup
@davemeddows Ironically, the city of St. Louis just ended 150 years of state control of police. #muckedup I don't think that is the answer.
And Messenger had a question for the audience:
Is it breaking the rules if I ask #muckedup question? How are journalists in Australia responding to the Ferguson coverage? What resonates?
@muckrack @tonymess the Australian media are portraying it as, "Seriously folks - take a look at how these guys look like army" #muckedup
@muckrack @tonymess It received wide coverage at the height of the riots. Aussie corros on the ground. Not so much now. #muckedup
@tonymess Much focus was on the police-media clashes. It's difficult to sell the broader context here. #muckedup
@davemeddows I think if you go back and read our editorials on @stltoday almost all of our focus is on the broader context. #muckedup