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Community Voice Will be Heard at Library Center Panel

The travelling news organization Stry.us is working with the City of Springfield and the public library district to create a more informed public. KSMU’s Matthew Barnes reports.

Stry.us’s “Letter to Springfield” event hopes to bring the community and its leaders together. The panel gives residence a chance to voice issues in the community that may be overlooked by those telling the stories. Dan Oshinsky is the founder of stry.us.

“So part of the goal of this panel is to help connect people in town who have big question to those in town who have real answers and we want to be a catalyst for connecting those people and getting and good answers and good information for those who don’t really know where to ask or how to ask it,” said Oshinsky.

According to Oshinsky, stry.us is a roaming group of reporters trying to find the unique pulse that defines each town they visit.

 “I was doing reporting from Biloxi from the gulf coast five years later. The recovery efforts there that were going on, the oil spill that was happening at the coast and the economy. All of those collide to create a really interesting scene down here that summer,” said Oshinsky.

The group will be in Springfield for four months and hopes the Letters to Springfield event will help them say what the public wants to know. The group has been collecting questions left in drop boxes at City Hall, the Moxie Cinema and different library locations. Oshinsky says stry.us wants to be a news outlet that creates platforms for conversation, not just another source of news reporting.

“We want to help news organizations around the country better understand some of the roles that they can serve in their community. We think this role as a catalyst is kind of a town hall role that maybe, was left up to city to government in the past, and we think that news organization can serve this kind of role in the community,” said Oshinksky.

The panel will consist of prominent figures from businesses and organizations in the community, including UMB Bank, the United Way, Missouri State University, Springfield Libraries and the city. The event will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday July 17that the Library Center. The event will also be streamed live to the City’s website.  For more information, visit KSMU.org.

For KSMU News, I’m Matthew Barnes.