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University Missourian, the Daily Missourian , the Evening Missourian, and the Columbia Evening Missourian (Columbia, MO)
The University Missourian began publication in 1908, the same year the Journalism School at the University of Missouri was founded. The School of Journalism hired three experienced newsmen as faculty: Walter Williams, editor of the Columbia Herald, who would be dean of the school; Silas Bent, from the staff of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; and Charles G. Ross, from the St. Louis Republic. In 1909, Bent was replaced by Frank L. Martin from the Kansas City Star. According to Dean Williams, the Missourian provided practical experience to journalism students, as the paper afforded "a laboratory course in actual newspaper making." Throughout its early years, faculty members served as editors of the Missourian, assigning stories to students. The editors maintained a careful vision for the paper, as Williams argued that the school had a responsibility to produce a quality newspaper for the community. While the early paper focused heavily on activities at the University of Missouri campus and in Columbia, the paper also featured news from Boone County and the rest of Missouri, as well as major national and international stories. During the early years, the paper suspended publication during summers and university holidays, reflecting its dependence on its student workers.
Several title changes followed. In 1916, the University Missourian became known as the Daily Missourian and in 1917-20 as the Evening Missourian. From 1920 to 1923, the paper was named the Columbia Evening Missourian, before finally becoming the Columbia Missourian, the title it holds today. From its inception, the Missourian sought to cover a variety of local, state, and national news; an editorial on September 15, 1908, stated, "it will be necessary for the University Missourian to cover the entire news field, not limiting itself to University news in order that the training the students receive will be sufficiently broad to be valuable." Though the paper contained a great deal of information about students and University of Missouri events, it also featured news of Columbia society; editorials on social, cultural, and moral issues; reports on higher education in general; sports news; and major national political news. Political opinion featured in the paper varied as a result of rotating student editorial writers and faculty advisors. The Missourian rarely endorsed any candidate or party; however, it did take positions on social issues, such as advocating for the prohibition of alcohol. Additional editorials debated the role of women in education, in the workforce, and in the home. A large portion of the editorial page consisted of "The Open Column," which featured letters to the editor.
By 1922, issues increased in length to eight pages. The Missourian continues in print today, and produces a Web version as well (http://www.columbiamissourian.com/). Its emphasis on University students and on campus life has broadened, offering full service as a community paper in Columbia, Boone County, and mid-Missouri, thus realizing Dean Walter Williams' original intentions.
Provided by: State Historical Society of Missouri; Columbia, MO