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Missouri on Mic is an oral history and audio journalism project collecting stories from Missouri in its 200th year (2021) and beyond. New episodes air every Monday at 8:45 AM during Morning Edition and 4:45 PM during All Things Considered.A team of Missouri School of Journalism students asked Missourians to tell their stories at bicentennial festivals and events throughout the state at the Missouri on Mic traveling audio booth. The collection of stories will be archived at the State Historical Society of Missouri as part of Missouri’s 200th anniversary of Statehood.Partners in this project include the State Historical Society of Missouri (SHSMO) and True False Film Fest. Missouri Humanities and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) provided support for the series, and the Burney Sisters provided music for the project. You can follow the Burney Sisters on https://www.facebook.com/TheBurneySisters or learn more at https://theburneysisters.com.To learn more about the story behind this collaborative project and how to produce something similar in your community, check out our Tool Box website here.

Missouri on Mic: Shiron And Elizabeth Hagen

True/False Missouri on Mic Photo
Janet Saidi

Mother Shiron Hagen and her daughter Elizabeth Hagen are both from around St. Louis. While they grew up in the same area, both have different perspectives of what they love — and what they don’t — about the Show-Me State. They reflected on their mixed feelings in this episode of Missouri on Mic.

Missouri on Mic is an oral history and journalism project documenting stories from around the state in its 200th year.

Shiron Hagens: I think Missouri seems like an afterthought, as if, you know, there's not a lot happening here. And I think that's also a misconception.

There's some wonderful food here. St. Louis is known, of course, for you know, everything from gooey butter cake to the toasted ravioli. But I think Missouri is known for a really home-cooked, kind of stick-to-your-bones type of food. Really good meat, and, I guess in quotations is like traditional American food.

Elizabeth Hagens: I  think I have a love for nature. And lately I've been going to a native lands like Cahokia Mounds is right out of St. Louis. There's just a lot of places where the Natives were and they built that land and we kind of just built on top of it, just right on top right. But here, it's just us and we kind of just plopped it right on top. And we see anybody different, and then it's kind of weird.

But it's like they were... they were here first. So lately I've been trying to connect to the nature that was here first. I mean, I love the Midwest nature. You know, I love all the trees and there's no mountains, but sometimes a mountain… or the trees look like mountains sometimes. And that's beautiful. And maybe I wish people would learn more about the history of the actual land and give respect to it.

Shiron:  I would love for us to change our I think our perception about politics here right? I think we've we've grown to have a reputation of being a very radical right wing state. And and I think there's a lot of people who are not... who don't subscribe to that thinking. But we kind of are, are out shout it out number feels like route number. I'm not sure if we actually are. So I'd love for Missouri to get better at becoming more center. And in those who have opposing views to speak up and we get an opportunity to be heard.

Elizabeth: I want to like talk about, like, political stuff. But I don't personally see it changing. So it’s hard for me to say “oh, I would like for this to happen “ or “oh, I would like for that to happen.” I mean. Missouri is pretty agricultural. So, you're always going to have the rural and the city differences. And they're probably never see eye to eye.

I wish this wasn't so gloom, but it's, I don't have any hope for Missouri.

Trevor Hook is a reporter, producer and morning anchor for KBIA 91.3 born and raised in New Franklin, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri with both a Master's degree in Audio Journalism in 2020 and a Bachelor's degree in Convergence Journalism in 2018.
Rachel Schnelle is a senior journalism student studying Radio Convergence Reporting. She is an anchor and reporter for KBIA. She can be reached at rescm4@umsystem.edu