Bland brings decades of experience and intimate knowledge of the community to the role
Columbia, Mo. (Nov. 29, 2021) — Pete Bland, a veteran reporter and editor with decades of experience in the industry, is now the sports editor for the Columbia Missourian, the Missouri School of Journalism’s digital-first community newsroom.
As sports editor, Bland will manage the entire team of reporters, producers, and technical crew that create the newsroom’s sports coverage while helping steer the direction of the School’s sports classes. He will also lead programs that blend education and hands-on experience for students, such as a new program that sends student reporters across Mid-Missouri each week during football season to photograph high school football games, or Get in the Game, which gives freshmen the opportunity to cover high school football early in their college careers for the Missourian and NBC affiliated KOMU-TV.
“Sports is where I got my start, and there’s always that connection,” Bland said. “It’s in my makeup, and I keep going back to it when called. Most important, though, are the students who pursue this path. They are some of the most passionate, dedicated and talented writers and editors you’ll come across, and getting the opportunity to continue working with them is what makes this special.”
Bland, who received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the School in 1993, has served as an assistant professor and in various editor roles at the Missourian since 2017. Before coming to the Missourian, he worked for more than 20 years at the Columbia Daily Tribune as an editor, reporter, and columnist following a stint on the editorial staff of the Chicago Tribune.
No stranger to local sports, Bland served as a production editor for the sports crew this semester until taking over the sports editor position in mid-November, and he has written and edited sports coverage throughout his career.
“Pete has a lot of experience with the local sports scene dating back to his time at the Tribune, but he brings so much to the table beyond his sports knowledge,” said Mark Horvit, interim executive editor at the Missourian. “He is equally adept at laying out the paper and getting it filled with content. And he’s always pitching stories because he knows the community so well. There are all sorts of stories we’ve come to know about through Pete.”
Mike Jenner, a teaching editor at the Missourian and the Houston Harte Chair in Journalism, echoed the praise for Bland’s deep skill set.
“Pete is an experienced sports journalist who is focused on helping students succeed and on producing an excellent sports report for readers of the Missourian’s print and digital editions,” Jenner said. “He has extensive knowledge of the community and terrific sources within the community. He’s proven his value to the Missourian and the School of Journalism and has earned this position.”
While taking over the role in the middle of a semester — and during the college football season — is a task unto itself, Bland is approaching his work with an eagerness to support the students who keep the paper full of content, no matter where they might be in their college careers.
“I’m excited about the work we’ve done on cross-platforming, with our students not only writing but also shooting video, podcasting, and exploring all social media has to offer,” Bland said. “I’m looking forward to more collaboration between our newsrooms, and that started in earnest this fall with our Get in the Game initiative. Many of our freshmen were already far ahead of the curve, but this allows them to dive right into the Missouri Method and make the connections they’ll need as they move through the J-School and pursue career options.”
Updated: November 29, 2021