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 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

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.


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.


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.

President Barack Obama appeared on Between Two Ferns, an Internet program hosted by comedian Zach Galifianakis on  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.

via Twitter

That's the question Emma G. Keller asked in a blog post published on The Guardian's website last week.  The piece centered on Lisa Adams, a woman with stage four breast cancer who is blogging and tweeting about her fight -- sometimes dozens of time per hour. 

A few days later, Keller's husband, Bill Keller wrote a column in the New York Times comparing Adams' decision to aggressively fight her disease to his father-in-law's more palliative treatment plan.

Massoud Hossaini / AP Images

We're already seeing a rise in air temperatures after this week's deep freeze.  How well did the local and national media cover the weather event? 

Stu Ostro, Jon Erdman, Nick Wiltgen, The Weather Channel: "Deep Freeze: Was the polar vortex really the cause"

Jordan Herr, KOMU: "Bitter cold brings danger of frostbite"

newsy on kindle fire

E.W. Scripps announced Tuesday it has acquiring Columbia-based Newsy for $35 million.  Newsy is best known for its short online videos that aggregate news from multiple sources.  The five-year-old company has 35 full-time employees.  It has had a relationship with the Reynolds Journalism Institute and the MU School of Journalism since relocating to Columbia in 2008.

James Duncan Davidson/Flickr

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos appeared on CBS' 60 Minutes Sunday night.  At the end of the 14-minute segment reported by Charlie Rose, Bezos unveiled a drone he calls an octocopter.  Bezos says he hopes the unmanned aircraft will one day make deliveries in 30 minutes or less. 

Charlie Rose, CBS News: “Amazon’s Jeff Bezos looks to the future

@moon_melanie / twitter

Members of the local, state and national media found themselves embroiled in debate this week about the impartiality of journalists covering Ryan Ferguson's release from prison. 

Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

Ryan Ferguson walked free just before 6 p.m. Tuesday after spending nearly 10 years behind bars, convicted of the murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.  Ferguson told reporters he's not sure what's next for him, it's too soon to tell. It's a story that's far from over -- for Ferguson, for the Heitholt family and for mid-Missouri. 

August Kryger / Columbia Tribune

An appeals court has vacated Ryan Ferguson's conviction in the murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.  How has the local and national media kept this story front and center for nearly a decade?

Marisa Guthrie, The Hollywood Reporter: “How ’48 Hours’ helped overturn Missouri man’s conviction

Bill Greenblatt / UPI

It's World Series time again, and few are prouder to see the Cardinals back in the fall classic than St. Louisans (and those of us here in mid-Missouri).  But, the national press hasn't been to friendly -- to the Red Birds or their fans.

Jonathan Mahler, Bloomberg: “The most insufferable fans in sports live in St. Louis


It won't be too long of a wait for Wall Street traders who want a piece of Twitter.  Last week the social media company filed the final paperwork to for an initial public offering.  Among the details discovered in those applications -- the board of directors, key investors and company executives are almost entirely white males.  That's got many in the media world asking where are the women?

George Skidmore/Flickr

Crossfire conundrum: Who should disclose?

Should pundits on CNN's Crossfire be held to the same ethical standards as the journalists at the news network?  There's a controversy swirling around former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.  He's also co-chair of a political action committee that's donated money to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), one of the first-ever guests on the program.  Do the viewers have a right to know that?