Amy Simons

AMY SIMONS teaches multi-platform reporting and editing to students in the convergence journalism interest area.

Since joining the faculty in August 2010, Simons has developed an interested in international journalism, training professionals on campus and abroad. She has traveled across China and the European Union, teaching Web-first workflows, mobile journalism techniques and how to use social media as a reporting tool and a means to disseminate journalistic content.

Simons serves as the adviser to ONA Mizzou, the local club of the Online News Association and as a mentor in the school’s student competitions.

Previously Simons worked as digital news editor for the Chicago Tribune, where she helped develop and execute the editorial programming strategy for chicagotribune.com. While at the Tribune, Simons worked closely with the newsrooms of WGN-TV, CLTV News and WGN-AM to coordinate the coverage of daily and planned news events. Before joining the Chicago Tribune, she spent seven years at CLTV News, Tribune’s 24-hour news channel covering Chicago and the suburbs. Simons worked her way up through the ranks, joining the newsroom as the assignment desk assistant and leaving as an executive producer. At CLTV, she produced the award-winning business magazine show, Your Money, and was responsible for all of the station’s election coverage. Simons is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism.

Ways To Connect

Courtesy NBC

Remember NBC’s franchise, “To Catch a Predator?” Chris Hansen does, and he hopes you do, too. The former network investigative reporter is launching a Kickstarter campaign to revive the one-time hit. If he’s successful in raising $400,000, his new program “Hansen vs. Predator” will run online while Hansen tries to sell it to a network.

Courtesy Rolling Stone

The Columbia Journalism School issued a 12,600-plus word indictment of Rolling Stone's story, "A Rape on Campus."  The months-long investigation revealed a breakdown in the reporting, editing and fact-checking processes -- as reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely put too much emphasis on an account provided to her by a single source, "Jackie." It also pointed to fatal flaws in the verification of her story prior to publication.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said his state’s new “religious freedom” law could use some clarification, but blames the media for what he considers a misunderstanding of it. Is it misunderstood or is it legalized discrimination, and how did news coverage drive perceptions? Meanwhile, several cities, states, and corporations have issued travel bans and called for boycotts.

Courtesy Starbucks

Coffee giant Starbucks and USA Today have teamed up to start a nationwide conversation about race. Baristas as encouraged to write "#RaceTogether" on drink cups and initiate conversations with customers about racial issues. Friday, there will be a special section in the print editions of the USA Today. That supplement will also be available in Starbucks retail locations.

via Flickr user Bureau of IIP

Hillary Clinton told reporters Tuesday she chose to use a private email address for her communications while Secretary of State out of convenience.  She maintains she did nothing wrong, but does wish she had done things differently.

Erik Wemple, Washington Post: “With Clinton quip, Kerry expresses his attitude toward open records

State of Missouri

What is the appropriate way for the news media to cover a suicide? Last week, when Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, it was front-page news. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch released a voicemail Schweich left for Editorial Page Editor Tony Messenger moments before firing the shot. Was publishing a violation of Shweich’s privacy or in the best interest of the public? 

via Flickr user Justin Hoch

A story published in Mother Jones claims Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly made up stories about his time covering the Falklands War for CBS News.  According to Mother Jones - and some of O'Reilly's former colleagues - it was impossible for him to have seen the instances of combat he describes. Missouri School of Journalism alum and former KFRU-AM news director Eric Engberg is among those disputing O'Reilly's accounts.

This was a week that was hard on many in the media world, with the sudden deaths of both David Carr and Bob Simon, the suspension of Brian Williams, and word that Jon Stewart would be leaving "The Daily Show."

Former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein told CNN's Brian Stelter that these four stories all tie together, as we come together to strive to tell the best version of the truth.

via Flickr user David Shankbone

NBC suspended Nightly News Managing Editor and anchor Brian Williams for six months, without pay, after he was found to have misrepresented events which occurred while on assignment in Iraq in 2003.

Williams has repeatedly described reporting from Iraq when the Chinook helicopter he was in took fire from an RPG attack.  Last week, Stars and Stripes reported it had proof Williams account of that attack was not factual.

Williams apologized.  But, that's led many to question the validity of his other reports and his journalistic credibility.

via Wikimedia

More than 100 people have contracted measles, most exposed after visits to Disneyland. The resurgence of the illness has given new life to the debate over whether parents should vaccinate their children. This week, that debate became political. While most government leaders are urging people to inoculate their children, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), himself a medical doctor, told CNBC he's known of cases in which vaccines have caused "profound medical disorders."

via Flickr user Anthony Quintano

Parts of the east coast were clobbered with more than two feet of snow. But is it a national story or a regional one? From live reporters standing waist-deep in fallen snow to the CNN Blizzardmobile driving around New York City during a statewide travel ban, we'll break down the coverage.

via Flickr user Valentina Cala

It's been a week since the deadly attack on the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo. The remaining staff has put out is first edition since the January 7, 2015 shooting that left 12 dead.  On its cover: another cartoon showing the image of the Prophet Mohammed.  What message are editors trying to send?

Courtesy NBC

When former Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on Meet the Press Sunday, he told moderator Chuck Todd that he approved of the CIA's interrogation techniques -- and said he'd use them all again "in a minute."

Some say those enhanced interrogation techniques, including water boarding and rectal rehydration amount to torture. 

The release of the Senate's CIA interrogation report left many in the media wondering what terminology to use.

via Flickr user Bob Mical

Rolling Stone has issued an apology for its November story, "A rape on campus: A brutal assault and struggle for justice at UVA," saying that the magazine didn't do enough in verifying an unidentified student's account of sexual assault. 

via Flickr user Gordon Correll

Comedian Chris Rock has been talking to reporters, doing a publicity tour for his new film, Top Five.  The timing has resulting in several questions about Ferguson,  the grand jury's decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson, the coverage of race in America, and the Obama presidency.

Frank Rick, New York: “In Conversation Chris Rock: What’s killing comedy. What’s saving America.

NPR's Scott Simon had the first interview with actor-comedian Bill Cosby following the recent allegations of sexual assault against him.  Simon asked Cosby on Saturday Weekend Edition if he wanted to address those allegations.  

Wikimedia Commons / wikimedia commons

President Barack Obama told the FCC he thinks it's time the independent agency acts on net neutrality, and regulate the Internet and service providers like other utilities.  It's uncertain how the FCC will act -- but Obama's request is being viewed as a "win" for consumers and businesses such as Netflix and Hulu and a blow to big telecom companies like Comcast and Verizon.

Matthew Yglesias, Vox: “Obama says FCC should reclassify the Internet’s regulatory status

Austin Federa / KBIA

Over the weekend, the Associated Press published a report based on recordings it obtained that make it appear the no-fly zone established over Ferguson, Missouri was aimed at keeping the media out.

Jack Gillum & Joan Lowy, Associated Press: “AP Exclusive: Ferguson no-fly zone aimed at media

KBIA

Were a forensic expert’s opinions taken out of context in the reporting of the findings of Michael Brown’s autopsy? Nearly a week after publication, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch printed a clarification of Dr. Judy Melinek’s interpretation of the report.

KBIA file photo

Gov. Jay Nixon announced a plan to create a Ferguson Commission on Tuesday.  The newly-formed panel is charged with studying the social and economic conditions that led to the August shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown.

Why is Nixon doing this now? How might the timing be influenced by a New York Times report detailing leaks of evidence presented to the grand jury investigating the case that supports Officer Darren Wilson's recollection of events?

Courtesy NBC

NBC Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman and the team she worked with in Liberia are now under a mandatory quarantine ordered by the New Jersey Health Department.

On last week's Views of the News, we talked about how Synderman was self-monitoring and in isolation after being exposed to Ebola by cameraman Ashoka Mukpo.

Courtesy NIAID

The diagnoses of two high-profile cases of Ebola have changed how the media is covering the viral outbreak in the United States. 

A freelance photojournalist working for NBC News said he started to feel symptoms a few days after joining the crew.  He's back in the United States, and his prognosis is reportedly good.  His colleagues -- NBC employees -- are home, too, in self-quarantined for a period of 21 days.

via Twitter

Comments are as much a part of news websites as articles, photos and video.  But, this content isn’t vetted, isn’t edited, and sometimes isn’t even read prior to publication. While many news organizations say they’re committed to giving the audience a voice, they find themselves struggling to do that while upholding their editorial standards.

The psychology of web trolling

There is pressure on the big-name sponsors of the National Football League to pull their advertising dollars in the aftermath of the domestic abuse scandal.  The public has joined the chant, calling attention to Cover Girl cosmetics (left) for its "Game Face" campaign, using manipulated images of made-up women with bruises on their face.  How has the news media contributed to the discussion?

Keith Allison / Flickr

More than six months ago, Ray Rice was caught on surveillance video beating his then-fiancee unconscious in an Atlantic City hotel elevator.   In July, the National Football League disciplined Rice for the incident, suspending him from the first two regular season games.

Throughout the summer, the league came under heavy criticism in the press.  Activists, reporters and columnists came down hard on the NFL for having stiffer penalties for players charged with illegal drug use. 

via SITE

A video released by the militant group ISIS appears to show the beheading of American journalist Steven J. Sotloff, 31.  The freelance reporter was taken captive while reporting on the bloody civil war in Syria last year.  Sotloff is the second American journalist slain by ISIS militants in two weeks in retaliation for military strikes against the group.

Courtesy Columbia Daily Tribune

This editorial cartoon, published in the August 20, 2014 edition of the Columbia Daily Tribune drew cries of racism from readers who worry the imagery paints Missouri as a "racist and backwater region."

Managing Editor Jim Robertson said he thought it was provocative, but its intent was not racism.

Austin Federa / KBIA

So much has happened in Ferguson, Missouri.  Nearly a dozen reporters have been arrested while on the job.  We've learned the identity of Michael Brown's shooter: six-year police veteran Darren Wilson. St. Louis NBC-affiliate KSDK-TV aired video of his home.  Governor Jay Nixon instituted -- and lifted -- curfews and called in the Missouri National Guard.

And we saw it all live -- online, on air and in print.

Courtesy CNN

A police officer Ferguson, Missouri fatally shot an unarmed teen.  Was race a factor in the death of Michael Brown? Or has the framing of the story by local and national journalists made it one?  Also, keeping reporters safe during violent protests, the role of citizen journalists and hashag activism in the aftermath.

U.S. Army photo

On Monday, the first-ever gay pride event was held on post at Fort Leonard Wood. Command Sgt. Major Teresa King spoke at a luncheon about her journey coming out and living openly as a gay soldier in the U.S. Army.

Some would say that this is news. It's not that long ago that such an event on an military post would have been illegal. Others say there are diversity events held all the time celebrating one group or another, and it deserved no more coverage than those do.

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