“Missouri on Mic will be an important collection that will be mined by students, researchers, journalists, and the general public for centuries to come.”

Beth Pike, Assistant Director for Communications and Educational Outreach 
State Historical Society of Missouri
Collage by Moy Zhong with photography by Becca Newton.

Missouri on Mic is both an oral history project and an audio journalism project, with segments from our field conversations airing each Monday during NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.” You can listen to the segments here.

This project started as a simple plan to take a mobile studio to a film festival in our community of Columbia, Missouri, and to gather the stories, voices, and oral histories of Missourians in the state’s 200th bicentennial year.

Collage by Moy Zhong with photography by Becca Newton.

From the very first day out on-site during the pandemic of 2021, it was clear to our team just how powerful it could be for journalists, citizens, and humans to come together, share and connect through our stories. It’s transformative for us as journalists, as community members, and it has the potential to impact media trust in our society and the way we approach journalism.

For all of these reasons, our team has gone the extra mile (and it has often felt like a marathon!) to collate some of the excellent materials our student and professional teams have compiled.

This is the story behind the project of Missouri on Mic.

How can we regain the public’s trust in journalism?

That’s the question permeating KBIA’s newsroom, and our strategic approach to news production, at this challenging time in our nation’s history.

This project emerged through a traveling audio booth that allowed KBIA journalists to establish conversational connection with citizens throughout the state by putting a microphone on their perspectives—their stories and our shared history.

We field tested a personal approach to journalist-public connection with hopes of creating a model other newsrooms could follow. We see Missouri on Mic as a mechanism for restoring trust, truth and civic engagement, one conversation at a time.

Collage by Moy Zhong with photography by Becca Newton.

Mostly, this site is a toolbox. So that newsrooms, news teams, community groups, teams, and organizers of all kinds can unlock information, materials, and stories that will help you re-create, expand on, and enhance this project.

Thank you for being here. Please let us know about your project and your efforts for putting your community and its stories on mic.

Missouri Humanities Council
Reynolds Journalism Institute
True/False Film Fest
The State Historical Society Of Missouri Center For Missouri Studies

Thanks to our partner organizations