Panel of journalists gather to discuss Ferguson
COLUMBIA - A panel of journalists gathered at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia Friday morning to talk about their coverage of Ferguson.
A panel of journalists and the Missouri Highway Patrol sat in front of a large crowd, addressing questions and comparing the different ways media agencies went about gathering and reporting their coverage.
Paul Stevens served as moderator of the event, he served as the former press bureau chief in Kansas City. Some other panel members include Colonel Ron Replogle, John Eligon, New York Times Correspondent, David Carson, St. Louis Dispatch photographer, Kenya Vaughn, St. Louis American reporter, Lawrence Bryant, St. Louis American photographer.
KOMU 8 News spoke to Colonel Replogue and one of his concerns is the way journalists and law enforcement interact in a chaotic situation like Ferguson. He said it shouldn't take an incident as large as Ferguson to get journalist and law enforcement to work efficiently together. He encourages journalists to create a familar relationship wtih public information officers.
"We need to focus on the lessons that we've learned and use it moving forward," Replogle said. " Communication is very important for law enforcement and the media to communicate with one another in order to get our jobs done.
Kenya Vaughn said she's very connected to the area and found it difficult to separate herself from the situations at times.
"I live less than a mile from ground zero, what they're calling the burnt QuickTrip, it was tough," Vaughn said. "It was my biggest lesson when it came to journalistic integrity that I could never have prepared myself for."
John Eligon, Kansas City New York Times Correspondant, said Friday's meeting made journalists reflect on the media's role during events like Ferguson.
"Journalists take the lazy track sometimes, instead getting on the ground and figuring out what's actually happening," Eligon said. "I think that's the most important thing a journalist can do, is get down on the ground and tell the stories of the lives of the people there."