Austin Federa

Digital Content Director

Austin Federa serves as KBIA's Digital Content Director. He is a graduate of Lawrence University and holds a degree in Political Science, and Environmental Studies. He comes to KBIA from Boston, following work with NPR's On Point, You're The Expert, and the American Repertory Theater. He is an experienced show producer, audio engineer, and digital media strategist. 

Public Key

About 40 years ago, the Individuals with Disabilities Acts, or IDEA, radically changed special education throughout the United States. Many of these changes involved including students into the general education classroom buildings, closing many fully state funded schools for the disabled. Missouri, the last state with these schools, still has 34 of them.

You listen to KBIA, you read our website, you follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to the newsletter, but how well do you really know the news?

A KBIA investigative report nearly a year in the making, Heartland, Missouri, received the national Sigma Delta Chi award for Radio Documentary journalism. Issued by the Society of Professional Journalists, Heartland is KBIA's first story to receive a Sigma Delta Chi award.

On April 23 the Radio and Television Digital News Association awarded KBIA five prestigious Edward R. Murrow awards for our work as a small-market radio station in region 5.  These awards recognize "the best electronic journalism produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world"   

Get the latest from KBIA's reporters on this election Tuesday. Follow our live blog as the results come in tonight. 

Michaela Tucker

True/False festivalgoers headed home after the close of the four-day event on Sunday night. The 12th annual documentary festival featured old favorites like the March March parade and original music alongside a new selection of over 40 films. This year, the festival adjusted to the temporary loss of Jesse Hall and screened films in smaller venues across the University of Missouri’s campus and to digital projection for all the films. 

A New York Times investigation shows across the state systemic policing issues stretch further than Ferguson. “Ferguson is one dot in the state, and there are many municipalities in the region engaged in the same practices a mile away,” said Vanita Gupta, the Justice Department’s top civil rights prosecutor.

True/False Friday

Mar 6, 2015
Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA

As True/False 2015 begins we bring you what's happening, as it happens. We'll rewind the best of the day, including visual arts, music, and of course, films. 

Press Photo / Cartel Land

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Fest.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

Since 2004 the annual True False Film Fest has brought world-class documentary films and their creators to Columbia, and the 2015 festival promises to bring more than fifty films to venues across the city.  Stacey Woelfel, Director of the Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism, and an associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, came in to give us a journalist's preview of True/False 2015.

Yves Tennevin

The French publication Charlie Hebdo has a long history of publishing controversial cartoons. But after an attack on its offices that left 10 staff and two police officers dead, news organizations are grappling with the ethics of reprinting those same cartoons. The graphic depictions may provide relevant context, yet are deeply offensive to many of the Muslim faith. Missouri School of Journalism professors Jamie Grey, Ryan Thomas and Amy Simons discuss the publication on KBIA-FM's media criticism program, "Views of the News."

It was a big night for the cast and crew of both Boyhood and the Amazon series Transparent, as each walked away with two Golden Globe awards Sunday. The CW Network received its first Golden Globe for Gina Rodriguez's performance in Jane the Virgin. Yet with only one award given to the major broadcast networks,  ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox were left out in the cold. Missouri School of Journalism professors Jamie Grey, Ryan Thomas and Amy Simons discuss the Golden Globes and the future of television on KBIA-FM's media criticism program, "Views of the News."

Serial promo image
Chicago Public Media

The podcast Serial, created by the staff of This American Life, ended its first season in mid-December with an estimated 40 million downloads. A year in the making, reporter Sarah Koenig was ultimately unable to decide whether high school student Adnan Syed, now serving a life sentence, was guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend 15 years ago. The key witness in the case, Jay Wilds, refused to give Koenig an on-tape interview. But last week The Intercept got Wilds to talk. What he said about Koenig led opponents and defenders to debate her journalistic integrity. Bob Priddy joined Missouri School of Journalism professors Earnest Perry and Mike McKean to discuss the issue on KBIA-FM's media criticism program, "Views of the News."


Critics say legislative term limits and declining interest by established media in covering state government have produced a loss of institutional memory that is crippling collaboration and coverage on important issues. Former MissouriNet news director Bob Priddy joins Missouri School of Journalism professors Earnest Perry and Mike McKean to discuss the issue on KBIA-FM's media criticism program, "Views of the News."


Yves Tennevin

On Tuesday, January 7, French authorities confirmed three gunman shot and killed 12 people in Paris at the offices of the weekly satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo. The paper has run cartoons and other content satirizing radical Islam, and the Prophet Mohammed. In 2011, the paper was firebombed. 

French President Francois Holland called the shootings a "terrorist attack of the most extreme barbarity" and video shows armed gunman running through the streets of Paris. As of the shows' recording, the suspects remain at large. 

WBUR brings us a complete look at the main players involved in the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

  A New York City high school student makes $72 million playing the stock market? The headline offered the promise of a story that was almost too good to be true. Turns out the teen, Mohammed Islam, made up the whole story. It joins an increasingly long list of prominent stories unraveling due to fact checking.  Missouri School of Journalism professors Earnest Perry, Mike McKean and Amy Simons discuss the issue on KBIA's media criticism program, "Views of the News."

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. Was Sabrina Rubin Erdely's reporting flawed? Why didn't she interview the accused? What did the fact-checking look like on that article?  And, why did Rolling Stone quietly change its apology, removing the statement the magazine "misplaced" its trust in "Jackie?” 

From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Katherine Reed: Views of the News.


For more, follow Views of the News on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube.

Demonstrators protest in front of the White House in support of Net Neutrality
Joseph Gruber / Flickr

In the late '90s when most around the world were still waking up to the internet, the Department of Justice and Microsoft were preparing to go head-to-head in a case many thought would define the future of software and digital commerce. Today’s net neutrality debate stands to have a similar impact, but will technical compliance regulations really deliver the equal access proponents insist it will?

Obesity is the number one public health issue in Missouri – it affects more than 30% of adults and nearly one in seven children between the ages of ten and seventeen.

Obesity is the number one public health issue in Missouri – it affects more than 30% of adults and nearly one in seven children between the ages of ten and seventeen. But in order to solve the problem of obesity in Missouri, we need to first understand why it exists. Intersection host Ryan Famuliner will lead the discussion of some of the physical, cultural, and even political events that have brought on what is considered by many to be a public health crisis in our state. 

Join us this Tuesday at 7pm for “Missouri: State of Obesity,” a live taping of KBIA’s talk show Intersection. 

Jack Howard / KBIA

One way CoMO Explained chooses topics for our episodes is from listener questions. Way back in our first iteration of the show a listener posted on Reddit and asked us why KBIA, an NPR station, plays so much classical music.

This episode is for that Reddit listener.

  KBIA and the University of Missouri announced plans to buy KWWC.  The lower-power FM station is currently owned by Stephens College.  Pending FCC approval, the new frequency will carry classical music around the clock while KBIA will switch to an all-news format from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Missouri School of Journalism professors Earnest Perry, Mike McKean and Amy Simons discuss the purchase.

Jack Howard / KBIA

On November 4 KBIA reporters crossed mid-Missouri in search of candidates, supporters, and opponents on Tuesday. We've compiled a slideshow of their photos on the ground. 

Join KBIA for our live coverage of the midterm elections this evening. We'll update this live blog throughout the evening, and live on-air at 7pm.

[View the story "Missouri midterm Elections, 2014" on Storify]


Laura Poitras' documentary, CitizenFour, will screen in Columbian, Mo. on Sunday in conjunction with True/False. The film documents NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's meetings with journalists from the Guardian in a Hong Kong hotel room. Early reviews of the film are strong, and already there's Oscar talk buzzing around it.​ Could this film change public perception? Missouri School of Journalism professors Earnest Perry, Mike McKean and Amy Simons discuss. 

cogdogblog / Flickr

If you’re a student at Mizzou, you were probably hooked to this story just by mentioning MizzouWireless. But if you’re not, then what you may need a little filling in.

Note: We received several requests for a more technical explanation of what may be causing the issues users experience. Please see the bottom of this story for an update.

A group of minority journalists are fighting to bring more diversity to American newsrooms, journalism conferences, panels and classrooms. The Journalism Diversity Project is designed to make it easy for hiring managers and event organizers to find qualified experts who are journalists of color. Missouri School of Journalism professors Earnest Perry, Jim Flink and Amy Simons discuss. 

Cherie Cullen / Department of Defense

The rumors swirled for much of last week, after an exclusive Politico report, that David Gregory was out at Meet the Press. NBC made it official on Thursday. Chuck Todd will take over as moderator of the program on September 7. Missouri School of Journalism professors Earnest Perry, Mike McKean and Amy Simons discuss.

The militant Jihadist group ISIS released video of the beheading of journalist James Foley in retaliation, it says, for the U.S. air strikes in Iraq. Foley went missing on Thanksgiving day, 2012, in Syria. In the video Foley is kneeling against a desert landscape, wearing something resembling an orange prison jump suit.  ISIS is threatening to kill another journalist they are holding if air strikes do not stop. Has the role journalists play in war zones changed? Missouri School of Journalism professors Mike McKean, Earnest Perry, and Amy Simons discuss. 

Austin Federa / KBIA

As demonstrations continue in Ferguson Missouri in response to the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, youth in the community are grappling with what is happening in their community. A team of KBIA reporters on Thursday went to the apartment complex where Brown was shot five days earlier to have conversations with young people about the past and future of their town.