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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: DC Smith

Missouri on Mic
Becca Newton

DC Smith is a retired resident living in Columbia. He’s held several jobs in his lifetime, one of them being in radio. He’s originally from the east coast but say something about Missouri keeps drawing him back. Smith talks about what he finds so alluring about Missouri 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.

DC Smith: Missouri is, to me, better than being on the East Coast. You know, I don't miss the miss the East Coast. You know, I like our rush minute versus rush hours.

No, we actually let our grass grow here, we let our crops grow. This is a great state. We have great people with diverse backgrounds. People come from all over the world and end up staying here because they like it. They like the quality of life. They like the people, they like the interaction.

This is my home. Even though I wasn't born here, mid-Missouri [and] Columbia is my home. And so no matter where I go... you know, whether I live in Florida at the beach, or someplace else in Minnesota, I still end up back in Colombia or the mid-Missouri area.

Everything's about relationships. And so you actually get to know your doctors, you get to know your mechanics, you get to know your neighbors. You walk around the neighborhood, you know, their animals, you know, their dogs, and things like that. You just don't seem to get that on the East Coast.

We need to celebrate everything about Missouri. I think we need to tell its entire history. We were one of the last states in the Union, to free, you know, slaves. We need to tell the entire history of Missouri, we don't need to, you know, try to cover anything, tell the entire history, We've done a lot of beautiful things. Scott Joplin, the music, all of the food. We have such a diverse number of things in the state. It's so beautiful, that we need to celebrate everything. Not everything is going to be rosy and puppies and kittens and everything. And we need to be honest, tell people what happens. And be honest about it and show how we've improved over the things that we got wrong.

I think this is a beginning of a dialogue. I think this is something that we need to do on a regular basis, not just because of the Missouri Bicentennial. I think this is something that we need to do on a regular basis, whether it's at the farmers market or at any listening post where people just get a chance to talk. Ask them questions, ask "what's going on in your world? What's important to you?' And so I applaud this project. And I want to say Happy Bicentennial, 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