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

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.

via Jeff Weisbien

The Supreme Court of the United States found in favor of major broadcasters, and against Aereo, in a case over the streaming of copyrighted material on the Internet.

Jordan Crook, Tech Crunch: "Aereo loses in Supreme Court, deemed illegal"

Katy Bachman, POLITICO: "Aereo loses copyright fight at Supreme Court"

As the violence escalates in Iraq at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), there's a steady stream of hawkish pundits on television talking about the need to act.  What to Paul Wolfowitz, Paul Bremer, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have to say today that's different than prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq?

Jack Mirkinson, Huffington Post: “Iraq hawks are still dominating the media debate

Flickr user Keith Allison

In a column published in the Friday, June 6 editions of the Washington Post, George F. Will wrote about what he considers a spread of progressivism at American colleges and universities. 

He drew the ire of many when he wrote of what he calls the "supposed campus epidemic of rape, a.k.a. sexual assault."  He attributes the number of reported to increased political correctness on campuses, and that when "making victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate."

U.S. Army photo

It was 2009 when Army Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl was captured and held as a prisoner of war in Afghanistan.  Saturday, President Barack Obama stood on the White House lawn flanked by Bergdahl's parents, to annnounce his release.

The Taliban freed Bergdahl as part of a prisoner swap.  In exchange for his release, the U.S. government agreed to release five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.

Courtesy Prixas Films via Wikimedia Commons

NBC News has landed the first sit-down interview with NSA leaker Edward Snowden by an American television network.  The hour-long special will air at 9 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, May 28. 

Richard Esposito, Matthew Cole & Mark Schone, NBC News: “EXCLUSIVE: Edward Snowden gives wide-ranging interview to Brian Williams

via Wikimedia user Haxorjoe

Watch this week's full program  

Why was Jill Abramson fired as executive editor the New York Times? Her story doesn’t mesh with that of Publisher Arthur Sulzberger. Was it over a pay dispute as she claims or about a management style Sulzberger says didn’t fit the newsroom?

Ken Auletta, New Yorker: “Why Jill Abramson was fired

Courtesy ESPN/NFL Films

Michael Sam made history, becoming the first openly gay football player to be drafted into the NFL.  Saturday, the St. Louis Rams used their seventh round pick to take Sam, giving him a chance to make the team later this summer.

ESPN has a crew with Sam while he watched the draft and awaited word of his future.  And, when the call came from Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, the network decided to air Sam's emotional response in its entirety, live on on television.

On Thursday, May 8, the new issue of Vanity Fair will hit newsstands.  Inside, there will be an item penned by former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.  After 17 years, she's breaking her silence and talking about her affair with President Bill Clinton and what her life has been like since it became public.

Vanity Fair: “Exclusive: Monica Lewinsky writes about her affair with President Clinton

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life from the National Basketball Association and fined $2.5 million for making racists comments.

Gossip site TMZ broke the story, publishing a recording of an argument between Sterling an an ex-girlfriend, V. Stiviano.

WallyG / FLICKR

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in the case of American Broadcasting Companies v. Aereo.

For more than two years, broadcast and cable companies have argued Aereo's subscription-based streaming of local programming is a violation of copyright.

Aereo maintains its use of mini-antennae allows users to tune in signals already available to them using over-the-air tuners.

Relux via Flickr

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is the leading voice in Congress, urging colleagues to say no to the proposed merger between Comcast and Time-Warner.

If allowed, the merger will combine the nation's number one and number two cable and internet providers -- something that Franken says is bad for consumers and bad for America.

Ashley Parker, New York Times: “Franken’s campaign against Comcast is no joke

via Twitter

Last week, Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus was shot and killed while on assignment in Afghanistan.  She was traveling with a convoy of election workers ahead of the presidential election when an Afgan police officer open fire on Niedringhaus and her reporter.

Afghanistan is a war zone.

Houston, Texas isn't.

stock78/flickr

When is it appropriate for a journalist to change a word in a direct quote?  Is it okay to edit for clarity? Or when someone uses profanity?  What defines profanity today?

Aero Icarus/Flickr

What happened to Malaysia Airlines flight 370?  All we know for sure is that it left Kuala Lampur on Friday, March 8 and never made it to its destination, the Beijing Capital International airport.  It's a mystery leaving millions around the globe scratching their heads.  The American media is reporting every small detail -- many of them theories and rumors. 

FunnyOrDie.com

President Barack Obama appeared on Between Two Ferns, an Internet program hosted by comedian Zach Galifianakis on funnyordie.com.  The two exchanged barbs before getting into a discussion about registering the March 31, 2014 deadline for registering for insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

via Twitter

At nearly three and a half hours, this year's Academy Awards telecast didn't set any records for length.  But, it did set a social media milestone, when more than 3,000,000 Twitter users retweeted this selfie featuring host Ellen DeGeneres and several other Hollywood stars.

David Bauder, AP: “Ellen’s Oscar celeb selfie a landmark media moment

bruce britt
Columbia Fire Department

Lt. Bruce Britt is only the second member of the Columbia Fire Department to die in the line of duty.  Britt succumbed to injuries sustained early Saturday morning while responding to a structural collapse at University Village apartments.  The complex is run my MU's Department of Residential Life.

And, as a community prepares to say goodbye, the university is trying to determine what caused a concrete walkway to collapse -- and is working to prevent another incident.    

Rickelle Pimentel / KBIA

Hundreds of Michael Sam supporters lined Stadium Blvd. and Providence Road in Columbia on Saturday, Feb. 15, blocking out a protest by the Westboro Baptist Church.

Sam, a former MU football player and NFL prospect, made international headlines last week when he came out as gay.

Members of the Topeka, Kan.-based church said they would return to Columbia to protest Sam's coming out and the MU community's support of him.  They were last here protesting the funeral of Army Spc. Sterling Wyatt in July 2012.

michael sam
Karen Mitchell / KBIA

Former MU defensive lineman Michael Sam told his teammates he was gay during a team building exercise late last summer.  On Sunday, he told the rest of the world, with the help of the New York Times and ESPN. 

John Branch, New York Times: “NFL prospect Michael Sam proudly says what teammates knew: He’s gay

Colin Swan via Flickr

Sunday, the New York Times published an open letter written by Dylan Farrow, the daughter of actress Mia Farrow.  In it, Dylan offers a detailed account of sexual abuse she says she endured at the hands of her stepfather -- legendary actor, director and producer Woody Allen.

These allegations first came to light more than 20 years ago.  Since then Allen has ended his longtime relationship with Mia Farrow and married Farrow's adopted daughter, Soon-Yi.  That relationship began when Soon-Yi was in her late teens.

Courtesy of Mike Menu

According to an ESPN investigation, in February 2010, former MU swimmer Sasha Menu Courey went home with a former football player after a night of drinking and had consensual sex. Months later she told a rape crisis counselor and wrote in a journal that after the man left, another football player entered the room, locked the door and raped her.

Courey made the decision not to report the alleged attack to law enforcement, but continued counseling on campus.

In 2011, Courey killed herself.

Wikimedia Commons / wikimedia commons

School safety is an important issue. How we cover it is important, too.  Last week, a suburban St. Louis high school was put on lockdown after a reporter from KSDK-TV entered the building unannounced.  He entered through an unlocked door, asked for directions to the school office and asked to speak with a security officer.  When one wasn't available, he left his name and phone number and walked out.  An hour later, the school was put on lockdown -- and the community went into a panic.

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