Trustees for the public

Tr ustees for the Public – 200 Years of Missouri Newspapers
2009 EMMY Award Winner

Historical Documentary
Buy the DVD


The 2009 Emmy Award winning Trustees for the Public celebrates the rich heritage of journalists in small-town weeklies and urban dailies in the Midwest.  The first newspaper west of the Mississippi, The Missouri Gazette, began in St. Louis in 1808 to print laws of the new territory.

Thousands of newspapers have thrived and disappeared over the past two hundred years.  Publishers and editors recount stories from the days of hot type and newspaper carriers on street corners to today’s modern newsrooms, high-speed presses and the emergence of newspapers’ use of the Internet.  Famous writers, including Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, and the Poet Eugene Field, got their early start at community newspapers.  Twain later wrote of his days as a “printers devil” at the Hannibal Courier-Post, “Surreptitiously and uninvited, I helped to edit the paper when no one was watching.” 

Ernest Hemingway began as a cub reporter at the Kansas City Star, and credits the Star for learning to use “vigorous English” and how to write short sentences and short first paragraphs.  Present-day journalists, including Pulitzer Prize winning author, Ron Powers, are also featured in the documentary.  Produced by Missouri Press Association and directed by Beth Pike and Stephen Hudnell.  Original music score by Sandra Levy Smith.  Runs 56 min.  Teacher’s Guide and Public Discussion Guide can be downloaded below, for free.

Video Trailer for Trustees for the Public
200 Years of Missouri Newspapers



Film Credits
Public Discussion Guide

Missouri Press Association offers other videos it has produced at no-charge, including The Journalist’s Creed by Walter Williams, on their YouTube channel

Trustees for the Public: 200 Years of Missouri Newspapers
© 2008, The Missouri Press Association
802 Locust St., Columbia, MO 65201
59:00 minutes

Online Store Feature

2015 MPA BOUND Newspaper Directory

An alphabetical resource guide to all of the newspapers in the state of Missouri. $45.00



Thursday October 8th

The It Can Wait editorial contest is going on now! The local contest deadline is Monday, October 19. If your newspaper is sponsoring a local IT CAN WAIT contest, please let Missouri Press know by sending a brief email to bejones@socket. Link

Thursday October 8th

Don't forget that the MPA and AT&T It Can Wait Contest is going on now! The deadline for the local level winners is October 19. The contest will end on the statewide level on October 26 and the final statewide winner will be announced on November 2. Link

Thursday October 8th

Check out the link to view the 2015 Hall of Fame induction introductory videos! Link



RT @craigunruh: No text, tweet, or email is worth a life. Students – enter @MissouriPress #ItCanWait editorial contest. Details - http://t.…
Thursday October 8th


The #ItCanWait editorial contest is going on now! Local deadline is October 19. |
Thursday October 8th


Check out our 2015 MPA Hall of Fame inductee introductory videos! |
Thursday October 8th


Rockwell Sale Is Legacy for the National Press Club | via @PressClubDC
Wednesday October 7th