Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Former Missouri politician starts news website, looks to hire a reporter

When the Missouri General Assembly gavels open its session next month, a new media company based in Jefferson City plans to go live right along with it.

Rod Jetton

Rod Jetton

Leading the company is a man who drew attention to himself inside and outside the General Assembly.

The Missouri Times, a free online publication still taking shape, intends to “get real answers on the serious issues of the day” and do it devoid of partisan slant, said Rod Jetton, former Missouri House speaker and president of the Times, in a news release.

Jetton served in the House from 2001 to 2009, the last four as speaker. But blowback from a 2009 assault charge scuttled his legislative career and the campaign consultancy he ran concurrent to his speakership. He says he’s no longer involved in either politics or consulting.

Jetton believes the souring economics of major media, resulting in staff cuts and diminished resources, make it harder for traditional news operations to achieve journalistic objectivity, and that a project such as the Times can accomplish what other media can’t.

“I feel my campaign experience as well as my legislative background has prepared me to know what questions to ask and who to ask them to,” he said.

And he insists the result won’t be tinted red or blue, or lean left or right.

“This publication will be nonpartisan and solely focused on providing objective reporting on the politics and the public policy process,” Jetton said. “Our overriding goal will be to report on all sides of each issue so that our readers have a clear and honest picture of what happened, who made it happen, why it happened and how it will affect them.”

Scott Faughn

Scott Faughn

Joining Jetton to shape the Times’ editorial content is Scott Faughn, a former mayor of Poplar Bluff, Mo., and publisher of the SEMO Times, an alternative weekly in that town. For the record, Faughn also has crossed paths with the law; he was convicted and fined $1,500 in 2007 for forging checks related to a highway construction project in southeastern Missouri.

“I believe there are readers who want more in-depth coverage of state issues,” Faughn said in the same news release. “Our staff of professional journalists will be in the state capitol every day to serve those readers.”

According to marketing material about the Times, the publication will contain advertising, and subscriptions will be offered at $325 annually for a companion print version that’s scheduled for weekly distribution.

Ideally, the Times will launch Jan. 9, the same day as the new legislative session, and have two reporters on staff. Faughn, the publisher, said the Times hopes to fill one of those staff positions before then.

Faughn said in an email that the reporters are expected to have experience with social media as a news-gathering tool, an understanding of video blogging, and knowledge of the content management system WordPress. He asks interested candidates to email him their resumes and at least two examples of their work to Hard copy submissions should go to Post Office Box 416, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901.


Tell us what you want to see at the regional conference

Sure, it’s only October, and spring seems too far down the calendar to contemplate.

But time ticks down faster than you think, and soon you’ll have to consider making travel plans for the annual Region 7 conference.

In fact, the foundation is being laid for that conference right now, with help from the leaders of neighboring Region 5 (Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana). Because St. Louis is central to both regions, we decided to convene there, and very soon we expect to announce a venue.

After that, we’ll hammer out the smaller details, such as sponsors and costs.

But the whole show isn’t up to just us: Your input is important, too. Tell us now what kinds of programs you’d like to see included at the dual regional, and maybe also mention the speakers you’d like to see present them.

Last spring, the conference in Ames, Iowa, included sessions on multimedia and mobility, social media and document searches, and helpful tips for freelancers as well as news staffs. The one-day, all-day conference even helped lay the foundations for stronger chapters in Iowa, and a new chapter in Nebraska.

Next spring, journalists from Region 7 are sure to face a host of new issues and challenges, some of which already may be taking shape. What better place then to discuss them and get valuable advice from learned SPJ colleagues and other professionals than the annual conference?

So, take a few moments to let us know now your ideas for program sessions at next spring’s conference. Send those ideas to me, David Sheets, Region 7 director, at If you want to discuss ideas directly, include a contact number.

Springtime may seem a long way off, but it’s really just around the corner. Help the regional conference’s planners get a jump on the calendar by adding your input to our efforts today.


More jobs in Region 7

Calling your attention to these positions! You can find more info at — searching by state.


Outside Sales Professional – Newspaper

Reporter – Newspaper (3)

Online Media Editor

Meteorologist – Television


Public Relations


Reporter – Newspaper

Reporter – Magazine

Editor – Newspaper

Copy Editor/Page Designer – Newspaper


Social Media Editor – Newspaper

Reporter – Newspaper (2)

Design Director – Newspaper

Sports Editor – Newspaper


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