The New Burkeian

Reflections on the Revolution in Conservatism

Monday, January 31, 2005

Missouri: Conservative Trends in the MSM?

As some may know, the New Burkeian is a Missourian (pronounce accordingly). The demographics of Missouri tend to match the larger demographics of America. This is why Missouri often matches greater trends across the US, including elections.

Journalism, unfortunately, tends to mirror those same trends. And I live in Columbia, home to the University of Missouri, and the oldest journalism school in America. Needless to say, I have some issues with anything journalism on our campus. The J-School in Columbia, Post-Dispatch in St. Louis, and the Star in Kansas City all tend to be liberal institutions. So I read the USA Today, if that makes any sense.

At any rate, the Post-Dispatch, a Pulitzer newspaper, is making some changes. A Note From the Commentary Editor explained this makeover. It appears some conservative voices are going to be heard in a traditionally liberal market, and a Pulitzer market, to boot. Awesome.

I know that it may be premature to start talking about a greater conservative trend, but Missouri really does mirror the greater US. On our "East Coast", we have the liberal stronghold of St. Louis. The growing county and outlying areas of St. Louis tend to be more conservative, however. On our "West Coast" we have another liberal stronghold in Kansas City. Outlying areas of KC tend to be conservative, as well. In the middle of the state is your traditional college town (crazy "fringe left" groups and all), Columbia. President Bush did win in our county, though. South Missouri tends to have more religious folks. And North Missouri is home to traditional populists. Outside of the major cities, you tend to find more conservative people. There is a good mix of people in Missouri, and I believe we have elected the winning president all but once in the last 100 years.

If a state that has turned largely conservative can influence its major paper's voice, then perhaps a nation that has turned largely conservative could influence the MSM's voice. Influence could "trickle-up" (heh), maybe.

At any rate, I look forward to reading my hometown paper again. And I hope, for the sake of all Americans, that this trend continues on up to the MSM.

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