Travis McMillen

Video Producer

TRAVIS McMILLEN is the video producer for the Futures Lab, located on the lower level of the Reynolds Journalism Institute. As video producer, McMillen directs and produces regular and occasional programming from RJI’s own production studio, including KBIA-FM’s Views of the News, Global Journalist and Radio Friends with Paul Pepper. He is a Columbia native who started working at KOMU-TV, the University of Missouri’s NBC affiliate, at the age of 16. At 18 McMillen became the audio operator for Pepper and Friends, a community variety and talk show that aired on KOMU for 27 years. It was a position he held for almost 10 years. Aside from audio, McMillen’s duties on the show included field segment videographer and editor and, from 2001-2007, primary fill-in director. McMillen also directed KOMU’s daily two-hour morning newscast from 2001-2008. He is married to Jennifer, whom he met at KOMU. She currently produces the CW News at Nine for the station. They have three boys.

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Who owns the Las Vegas Review-Journal? Someone paid $140 million in cash for Nevada’s largest newspaper, but no one knows who that someone is. The rather unusual situation has staffers demanding answers. Also, Disney’s promotion machine is on full blast for Friday’s release of ‘Star Wars: A Force Awakens.’ Will the film live up to the hype? And, Serial returns for its second season. Why don’t fans seem as interested in Bowe Bergdahl as they were Adnan Syed? From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Friday, cable news audiences watched aghast as reporters from MSBNC, CNN and Fox News Channel toured the San Bernardino shooters’ home, broadcasting live as they pilfered through belongings. What’s the value in broadcasting that moment? Is there any? Also, Huffington Post’s about-face on Trump campaign coverage, Sinclair Broadcast Group announces plans to revive the once-popular web app Circa. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Actor Charlie Sheen speaks out, telling Today Show anchor Matt Lauer he is HIV positive. The diagnosis came years ago, but Sheen said he’s speaking now to ease the stigma… and to put a stop to blackmail attempts from those threating to make the information public. Also, Mizzou makes more headlines, Geraldo Rivera’s reunion with his daughter following the Paris terror attacks, and extending the copyright on The Diary of Anne Frank. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Mike McKean and Jamie Grey: Views of the News.


It’s been a historic week at the University of Missouri. On Monday, Tim Wolfe resigned as president of the UM System. Hours later, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin announced he is stepping down from that office at the end of the year. We’ll look at local, regional and national media coverage, talk about challenges to the First Amendment, and examine the role of Mizzou Football. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

A week after the last Republican presidential debate, the candidates and networks are still debating rules and procedures for future debates. What will it take to break the impasse? Also, Pandora picks up ‘Serial,’ South By Southwest tries, unsuccessfully, to dig out Gamergate session controversies, and KBIA adopts a full-time news format.. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

The organizers of the South By Southwest conference announced they’re canceling two sessions for the Spring 2016 conference. Both sessions were to focus on issues related to the Gamergate scandal, which centered on the depiction of women in the video gaming industry. Also, Vice President Joe Biden’s claims ‘people’ made up a ‘Hollywood moment’ between him and son Beau, covering Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony, and what’s potentially behind those layoffs at ESPN. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

  One guy says the reporting isn’t accurate. Another says it is. It’s a case of finger pointing between Amazon vice president Jay Carney and New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet. What is the environment really like in the Amazon headquarters? Also, CNBC gets ‘Trump’ed, Cosby Kids Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Raven-Simone react to the November Ebony cover, and how the NFL Network became the butt of many jokes.  From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

For 62 years, people have been saying they read Playboy for the articles, but do they really? We’ll find out soon enough, now that the magazine’s decision to eliminate nude photographs. Also, Jason Rezaian’s guilty verdict in Iran, BuzzFeed goes “native” and a look back on the Democrats first debate. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Reuben Stern: Views of the News.

In Roseburg, Ore., the Douglas County Sheriff says the public won’t ever hear him utter the shooter’s name so as not to give him the fame and attention he sought. As the ‘No Notoriety’ campaign gains steam, journalists find themselves at odds with it. Also, President Obama the nation’s assignment editor-in-chief, Hillary Clinton’s NBC appearances and covering the “1,000-year flood” in South Carolina. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Reuben Stern and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

  Was the coverage too much? Too little? Or just right? Also, farming out editorials, lessons learned after a tv station used a Nazi emblem in a Yom Kippur graphic, a boo boo in Yogi Berra’s obituary and more. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

  The hunter is being the hunted. Donald Trump is still the clear GOP front runner, at least according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.  But, that same poll suggests six in ten Americans think Trump is not qualified to hold the job. Still, he's getting a ton of media coverage. Is he too rich to ignore? Also, turmoil for Tribune Publishing, stormy times at the Weather Channel, why the Washington Post is rethinking it video strategy and more. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Jim Flink, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

  Images of war are often graphic and gruesome. They evoke personal, emotional reactions – and often we choose not to publish them because of the depths of truth they show. And, sometimes when we do publish them, we can change the course of history. Some are saying the photos of 3-year-old Ayland Kurdi’s body washed up on a Turkish beach could be the next iconic photo to influence public thinking – much like the 1972 image of the girl fleeing a napalm attack in Vietnam. Also, the media circus around Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ jailing, why Stephen Colbert’s return to late night and why Aretha Franklin doesn’t want you to see the documentary ‘Amazing Grace.’ From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

  It seems every few weeks we’re talking about another shooting incident. Why is that? MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough puts the blame on the 24-hour cable news networks. Is it a fair criticism? Also, President Obama’s appearance on an NBC reality show, press freedoms challenged at student publications across the country, and athletic teams’ game changing decision regarding access for credentialed journalists. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

  Details are still coming together in Roanoke, Va., where a disgruntled former employee shot and killed a reporter and photographer live on the air. Also, Cox’s Rare Media posts a job looking for a reporter that’s “less Paula Zahn, more Zoe Barnes.” It’s a House of Cards reference to a young, driven reporter willing to work sources – intimately -- to get her story. And, is it ethical to identify names of Ashley Madison subscribers obtained through theft, drama on CNBC and when journalists should turn into activists. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Emotions are running high 10 years after Hurricane Katrina made landfall on New Orleans, so what was a Chicago Tribune columnist thinking when she wrote that she prayed for a storm like Katrina to wipe out Chicago? Also, how Pro-Publica and the New York Times worked together to determine a special relationship between AT&T and the National Security Agency, Sesame Street’s move to HBO and more. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

People in Ferguson and across the country marked the one-year anniversary of the police-involved shooting death of Michael Brown. What’s changed? What hasn’t? And how is it the media is still so tied to the center of this story? Donald Trump continues to steal the headlines in the GOP presidential push, investigative powerhouse ProPublica teams up with the online review site, Yelp, and Jon Stewart issues us all a challenge. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

  Is any publicity good publicity for Donald Trump?  He’s certainly testing that proposition with his attack on John McCain’s war record.  And some say the media are depriving more serious presidential contenders of oxygen by focusing so much on the real estate mogul and reality TV star.  Amateur drones are getting in the way of California firefighters.  The publisher of the celebrity gossip site Gawker pulls a salacious story, prompting two of his editors to quit.  Critics accuse journalists of being too quick to blame sexism for the resignation of Reddit’s CEO.  And Harper Lee’s new novel raises some difficult questions for reviewers.  It’s Views of the News with Missouri School of Journalism professors Mike McKean, Lynda Kraxberger and Jamie Grey.

What happens when human rights issue is also a political one? Should news organizations or individual journalists pick sides and state their allegiances? We’ll analyze how the national and local media covered this week’s landmark Supreme Court decisions. Also, the Kansas City Star reports on a culture of sexual harassment at the state capitol and a look at a wave of compassionate acts among competing newsrooms. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Amanda Hinnant: Views of the News.

Pop rocker Taylor Swift takes a bite out of Apple, forcing the company to revise its royalty payment plans for the new Apple Music streaming system. What lessons could journalists take from her demand for fair pay? Also, the deadly shooting at Emanuel AME Church reignited the national conversation about race, but has the media done its job to move that conversation forward. And, you can take the “interim” off Lester Holt’s title as anchor of NBC Nightly News. We’ll look at what’s ahead for the network as Brian Williams’ suspension expires and he moves to MSNBC. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.


  A week ago, few outside Spokane, Wash. knew Rachel Dolezal. Today, she’s a household name, thanks to one reporter’s persistent line of questioning. Also, how an Arkansas judge’s alternative sentencing stands to affect one television station’s editorial product, why Glenn Greenwald says a story in the Sunday Times is “the opposite of journalism,” and the experiment to drive home the importance of mobile at the New York Times. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Mike McKean and Jamie Grey: Views of the News.

Fox News Channel scored huge ratings with last week’s exclusive interview with members of the Duggar family. Megyn Kelly promised to ask the tough questions. Did she? Did the Duggars do anything to help themselves in the court of public opinion? Also, how the gender gap affects the quality of news reporting, the next steps at Gawker Media now that employees agree to union representation, and an NPR/ProPublica follows Red Cross spending in Haiti. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Jamie Grey and Katherine Reed: Views of the News.


  Call her Caitlyn. It’s a message that seems simple enough, yet some in the media continue to refer to Caitlyn Jenner using her birth name and male pronouns.

Also, why employees at Gawker Media are voting on union organization, the ethics of fabricating a scientific study to prove a point about shoddy science journalism and an former FIFA official’s unofficial defense against corruption charges? An article in The Onion.

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

Kristofor Husted/KBIA/Harvest Public Media

On May 20th, KBIA held a community conversation event in Kennett, Mo. The goal was to bring local residents and leaders of rural southeast Missouri to the same table to discuss difficulties in access to health care, the struggling rural economy and how to fix it. It's an event we called Health Barriers: Symptoms of a Rural Economy.

Cable channel TLC pulled the reality tv series “19 Kids & Counting” amidst allegations the eldest child, Josh Duggar, was named in an underage sex abuse complaint. When did TLC first learn of the allegations? What was Oprah Winfrey’s role in the investigation? Also, what’s in Hillary Clinton’s emails, why the New York Times says its cutting back on the number of movies it reviews and how trauma affects journalists on the job. 

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

  The New York Times got America talking about the high price of cheap manicures. We’ll talk about the blockbuster investigation, the near-immediate regulatory changes it’s already brought to the industry and the paper’s decision to roll it out online days before it appeared in print to create buzz. Also, the mega merger between Verizon and AOL, why some are critical of Seymour Hersh’s assertion the Obama administration lied about bin Laden and the end of “American Idol.” From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

  Cable companies and professional sports leagues say journalists live-streaming violates their copyright. How far will they go to stop it? And, how are reporters responding? Also, what happens when a journalist – who is also a surgeon – is sent to cover a natural disaster, how the New York Times customized a story just for you, an analysis of the coverage of Freddie Gray’s death and the Baltimore protests and more.

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


  Who is to blame for the journalism malpractice at Rolling Stone? The reporter? The editors? The fact-checkers? Jackie? Columbia Journalism School’s report into to “A Rape On Campus” is out, and it’s scathing. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean will talk about how it happened, why it happened and what can be done to prevent it from happening again.


    

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. Also, the media lockout at a law school event featuring St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch, how newsroom diversity affects workplace culture, the Colorado Springs Gazette’s editorial project, Clearing the Haze. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

  Robert Durst, the focus of HBO’s ‘The Jinx’ docuseries, is now under arrest and charged with murder in the 2000 homicide of Susan Berman. How role did filmmakers Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smeling play in cracking the case? And, how likely is it the statements they recorded will be admissible in court? Also, a partnership between Starbucks and USA Today attempts to drive a nationwide discussion on race, the Obama administration deletes a rule obligating part of it from the Freedom of Information Act, and whether TIME Magazine gave Hillary Clinton horns on its latest cover. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

  Hillary Clinton said she used a personal address while Secretary of State as a manner of convenience, so that she wouldn't need to carry more than one mobile device. It’s an explanation that drew skepticism at Tuesday’s news conference. Also, tech blog Gigaom goes belly up, how you can access HBO without a cable subscription, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Selma march and why a television news reporter decided to thank a public information officer on the air. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.


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