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Continuing Coverage Entry for PRNDI

Demonstrations on the University of Missouri campus in November 2015 re-kindled a national conversation about race in modern America. These are not issues that sprung up out of nowhere: these issues have been haunting the University of Missouri campus for decades. KBIA has been covering stories in this arena for years, one good example from 2014 was an episode of our talk show “Intersection” where we spoke with Mike Middleton and another guest about the history of civil rights at MU and in Columbia. http://kbia.org/post/exploring-columbias-civil-rights-history

However, we did not include examples of any of our coverage of these issues previous to 2015 in the audio file above, so that our entry would come in line with the submission window. Here are the official submissions, with time codes to denote where you will hear them in the audio, and links to the original stories posted online. You will hear short beeps to denote the separation between pieces.

How Columbia Could be More Segregated than Ferguson (00:00-04:22)


Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, KBIA’s Bram Sable Smith analyzed the racial dynamics of Columbia 10 months before the community and campus was thrust into the national spotlight. Shortened for the purpose of this competition.

Graduate Students Discuss Next Steps After Losing Health Insurance Subsides (04:22 – 06:52) http://kbia.org/post/graduate-students-discuss-next-steps-after-losing-health-insurance

Even After Renewal of Benefits, the MU Graduate Student Health Insurance Issue is Not Resolved (6:52-7:40)


Student-led protests were fairly common on the University of Missouri campus during 2015 long before the demands of Concerned Student 1950 were issued in November. One of the first incidents of student activism happened in August of 2015 when, just a few days before classes started, graduate students were told via email that their health insurance subsidies were being canceled due to an obscure ruling by the IRS.

We reported on this event the day it occurred, and over the next few days the story become more involved. So we spoke with experts from the American Council on Education and other organizations, numerous graduate students and the University administration. After a few days, we put together an explainer radio feature about the complex nature of the story, but within hours of the story airing the university decided to reverse their decision in regard to health insurance subsidies – and just like that, subsidies were restored.

But the story did not end there. We had conversations with the University’s administration and attended a student forum about the subsidies because the University didn’t re-implement the subsidies for good, but instead created a Task Force to look at the options the school had. For the course of five months, we made sure to stay on top of this story and report the periodic progress that took place. We tried to provide context on this complex subject matter and tried to let the voice of disgruntled and concerned graduate students be heard. These protests laid the groundwork for the Concerned Student 1950 protests. Shortened for the purpose of this competition.

Tim Wolfe Responds to MU Grad Student’s Hunger Strike (7:41 - 8:30)


KBIA covered the first in-person conversation between Tim Wolfe and members of Concerned Student 1950, and included the raw audio of the conversation online. The conversation played a large role in what was to come. Shortened for the purpose of this competition.

(08:30-09:52)10:00 a.m. newscast that aired just before Wolfe’s resignation. Shortened for the purpose of the competition.

(09:52-10:30) Live broadcast of the resignation of Tim Wolfe. Shortened for the purpose of the competition.

(10:30-11:50) Noon newscast, Shortened for the purpose of the competition.

(11:50-12:52) 4:30 newscast, aired just minutes before Loftin’s resignation. Shortened for the purpose of the competition.

(12:52-13:29) Live coverage of the UM Curators meeting where Loftin’s resignation is announced. Shortened for the purpose of the competition.

(13:30-13:58) 5:30 p.m. newscast. Shortened for the purpose of the competition.

(13:59-16:22) Excerpts from the half hour program “Intersection,” which aired at 6:00 p.m. the same day as the resignations and demonstrations.  Shortened for the purpose of the competition. Complete show here: http://kbia.org/post/intersection-voices-historic-monday-university-missouri

(16:22-20:21) Reporter Reflects on Being Inside Confrontation Between Reporters and MU Demonstrators


A first-person account by KBIA reporter Bram Sable-Smith, detailing his presence in the confrontation between journalists and demonstrators over efforts to document the students on campus.

(20:21-21:03) A Conversation with Tim Tai


KBIA’s Bram-Sable Smith spoke with Tim Tai, and they discussed what it was like finding themselves in the middle of a struggle over First Amendment Rights that Garnered National Attention. Half hour interview shortened for the purpose of the competition.

(21:03 – 25:07) Mizzou Football Sets Precedent for Student Athlete Activism


Shortened for the purpose of the competition.

(25:07 – 27:42) MU Student Voices: “I Want Mizzou to Be a Brighter Campus”


(27:44 – 29:59) Intersection: Inclusivity and Diversity at MUhttp://kbia.org/post/intersection-inclusion-and-diversity-mu

An Interview with Mike Middleton, the Interim UM System President. Half hour interview shortened for the purpose of this competition.

KBIA’s continuing coverage of these issues has continued far beyond the content included in this entry. Some more stories on this issue can be found here:


KBIA’s coverage has also continued beyond the end of the calendar year and contest period, and will continue far into the future. For example KBIA had one of the first interviews with Melissa Click: http://kbia.org/post/interview-melissa-click

And KBIA also aired a special three part documentary in 2016 diving deep into many of the issues on campus, called “Mizzou at a Crossroads.




Ryan served as the KBIA News Director from February 2011 to September 2023