Statement from MU Provost Brian Foster
Dec. 22, 2008
Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430, BasiC@missouri.edu
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- "Over the past several months, we have had extensive discussions both on campus and with external constituents about the financial challenges of the Columbia Missourian, the community newspaper that serves as the teaching and research laboratory of the University of Missouri School of Journalism," MU Provost Brian Foster said. "The issue is a complex one. The operating deficit is very significant, but the value to the Journalism School is also extremely significant: It is one of the greatest assets of Mizzou's most prominent program.
"We have received a great deal of input from many sources, including the Board of Directors of the Missourian Publishing Association (the non-profit corporation that owns the Missourian), students, faculty and alumni. There is virtual consensus that we must maintain a significant print newspaper presence as a laboratory experience for J-School students. Moreover, VOX, the weekly city publication, is clearly a key experience for the magazine journalism students.
"This being the case, we have, in consultation with the administrative leadership of the School of Journalism, decided to sustain the Missourian as home-delivery print newspaper. In order to cut printing and distribution costs, the Saturday edition that is delivered free of charge to more than 40,000 households will be eliminated, and the daily paper will be published five, rather than six days a week.
"The Missourian will continue to publish Vox, the weekly city publication. The specifics will be decided in consultation with the Missourian Board and the Missourian faculty. The changes will save about $350,000 a year.
"We believe this is the best possible outcome of the months of discussion. We appreciate the rich and varied input that we have received on this issue. We will review the matter after the next three years or so and will solicit additional input at that time."