Rural Missouri - September 2011 - (Page 8)

The story behind the stories Learn what it takes to get Rural Missouri to your door each month The August 2011 Rural Missouri issue arrives in the mailbox of a Boone Electric Cooperative member. The magazine has a circulation of more than 540,000. on the cover of the May issue.” Story ideas for the magazine come from all difEditors may spend anywhere from a few hours to ferent sources, such as other publications, books, a few days on assignment with their story subjects articles, events, unique people and businesses. All of doing interviews, taking pictures or shooting video. the editors agree that the best story ideas come from t starts with a germ of an idea, a hunch, an After 22 years with Rural Missouri, Associate Editor the magazine’s readers. instinct. It is a nagging curiosity that begs to Heather Berry says that unlike other publications, “There aren’t many days that go by that be explored, to tell me more staff here is happy to spend more time with their I don’t get a phone call or an e-mail from a and show me more. It is the story subjects. “I’ve gotten very close or involved in reader who wants to tell me about something beginning of a story. a story because I was able to spend that extra time or somebody interesting that they think Rural Missouri is the voice of MisJefferson City will be a great topic,” explains Rural Miswith it.” souri’s electric cooperatives, reaching out • According to Jim, it’s that extra time that makes souri’s Managing Editor Jason Jenkins, a to more than 540,000 member homes and the difference. “We’ve got two rules here,” he staff member since 2007. businesses. It has continuously pursued the explains. “The first one is make nice pictures. The A career in journalism wasn’t stories of people’s passions, interests, hobsecond is don’t leave until you do.” the original career choice for two bies and histories since its creation in JanuIn a recent video illustrating how to shoot like editors. “I would say that I haven’t ary 1948. Here’s a look at that journey from a professional photographer, Kyle demonstrated always wanted to be a journalist,” Kyle idea to printed page, a task that’s taken place the importance of timing for a picture. He says to explains, “but more of a storyteller.” month in and month out for more than 60 years. capture good photographs you should shoot in the Similarly, Jason hadn’t always wanted to be a Originally called the Rural Electric Missourian, the “magic hours,” in the early morning or right around journalist but had originally thought to be a scienpublication began in response to propaganda from dusk in the evening, to have a softer, diffused light tist. “But then I discovered that math wasn’t exactly private utility companies that did not want electric around your subject. Anticipating the “magic hours” my strong suit or something I was particularly fond co-ops generating electricity. “There’s an old saying does create weird hours for the editors. of,” he confesses. that you don’t go to war with someone who buys The editors have all written a wide variety of stoAfter deciding on story ideas that are geographitheir ink by the barrel,” says Rural Missouri Editor ries, but they do sometimes have a tendency to write cally diverse within the state, the staff begins to Jim McCarty, who joined the staff in 1985. “With about their own favorite subjects. research and contact subjects. “We look at the logisthat first issue, the electric cooperatives bought their “I’d say my interest has always been in the outtics, can we get this done in the amount of time we ink by the trainload.” doors and natural resources,” Jason says. Heather have between deadlines and seasonal factors,” Jim The magazine has had many roles during the past Berry adds, “I tend to be more the warm and fuzzy says. “You don’t want to have snow on the ground 63 years. In the beginning, it taught people how to kind of person. I’m not an outdoorsy use electricity, how to get the kind of girl.” most from electricity and how The publication features several to cook with electricity because recurring features, such as Out of the it was still a new concept for Way Eats, Hearth & Home, Neighrural areas. In the late 1970s, bors and Just4Kids. as the publication evolved and Hearth & Home is the recipe seccovered more feature stories, the tion that has grown to two pages name changed to Rural Missouri. because of its popularity with readAccording to Jim, “We do ers. “I think it’s because everyone a lot of things that hopefully likes to eat. Whether they cook or serve as an example for somenot, they love to eat,” Heather says. one who is making a living in a The Just4Kids section was created rural area. That’s always been a more than 16 years ago to reach a role for the publication.” younger audience of electric coopProducing each month’s issue erative members. It features a mastakes a lot of time and preparacot, Buddy Bear, comics and word tion. “We kind of look at what searches to get children involved in is coming ahead in the next reading the publication. couple of months or year,” says Another way the magazine has Field Editor Kyle Spradley, who evolved to reach out to its new audicame to Rural Missouri in 2010. ences is the addition of a digital edi“We sit down and plan out, ‘OK, tion available on the Internet, smart what do I need? Is there going Rural Missouri editors Jason Jenkins, left, and Kyle Spradley, far right, work together to film the phones or the latest tablet devices. to be multimedia? Am I going to latest “Online Extra” for another Out of the Way Eats. The video features Lonnie Ray’s, a restauThe edition incorporates multimehave a portrait?’” rant in Harrisburg, known for its different style of barbecue called “MoTex.” by Caitlyn Emmett cemmett@ruralmissouri.coop I 8 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - September 2011

Rural Missouri - September 2011
Table of Contents
Comments
Columns
The story behind the stories
Hemp bales and history
Bear necessities
Outdoors
Out of the Way Eats
Open up and say ‘neigh!’
Back to the one-room school
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
The Missouri artist
Marketplace
Around Missouri
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - September 2011

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