Post-Dispatch panel kicks off Media Now STL 2015


Kyle Carter, Adviser

header_fergSix members of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch coverage team for the events in Ferguson met as a panel to kick off the Media Now STL week at Maryville University on Sunday. The six came from six different position perspectives within the PD, from online editor and photographer, to videographer and managing editor, to reporter and page designer. Before the discussion, an informational video designed by the PD team was shown that included included photos, full-front page snapshots and even a phone call placed by a woman into the Post-Dispatch accusing them of fueling the fire.

One of the major issues covered during the discussion was the idea of giving publication coverage from correct sources.

“We have to make sure we have good sources,” said Carlos Ayulo, assistant managing editor/presentation. “You have to be the professional and be careful what you put out there at any minute.”

The discussion moved to how the event was covered in real time and all six members agreed that Twitter was most used along with some video services. Post-Dispatch videographer Gary Hairlson said that some of their videos had received over a million hits – some of which were “polished” video and some just raw feed footage – even cell phones were used to cover the event in real time.

Robert Cohen, one of the staff photographers from the PD, mentioned about his Twitter feed, “I’ve never had anything go viral like that. I posted my photo about 2 a.m. and then went home and went to bed. After 48 hours people had it on t-shirts and on billboards. Now people have it as tattoos and on the side of buildings.”

Cohen also told the story of one of his more famous photos for the crowd.

“It wasn’t really even supposed to have been taken. I thought I was done for the night and was about to go home when everything broke loose.”

Cohen went on to discuss how it was that he captured the specific moment and how once it was released on Twitter many didn’t realize it was teargas he was holding, but assumed it was a molotov cocktail.

While discussing the actual coverage of the event, Bob Rose, deputy managing editor for the PD stated, “It was like a TV show. We would post something as a breaking story and then an hour or two later it was already pushed done on the front site. We tried to continue to links posts, video and different types of content in all our stories. People were there for the content – they didn’t care in what form.”

Media Now STL is a four-day workshop designed for high school students to be able to improve their media skills in various areas including: writing, publication designs, editorial leadership, photography, broadcast, and sports journalism. This is the fifth year of the annual event and is being hosted at Maryville University for the year.

“We are so excited to have you all here today and we want to thank our panel guests for their time and for sharing some of their stories,” said Kate Manfull, co-director of the event.

For more information about Media Now STL, visit their website at – also for images and coverage of Ferguson from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch visit their site at