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.

Monica Lewinsky is breaking her silence, writing in Vanity Fair that it’s time to “burn the beret and blue dress.” After 17 years, why did she choose to speak out now about her affair with President Bill Clinton?  Also, journalists rubbing elbows with politicians at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, how local, national and international coverage varied during last week’s controversial execution in Oklahoma, and coverage of the kidnapped Nigerian girls. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Mike McKean and Earnest Perry: Views of the News.

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

Clippers owner Donald Sterling, banned from basketball for life for making racist comments.  How did TMZ get the scoop that rocked professional sports?  E-mails between producers of ‘Chicagoland’ and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office show some storylines on the CNN docu-series may have been staged. Also, Indy Star’s #ShowUsYourGuns and a look back at NPR’s first foray on the internet. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Mike McKean and Earnest Perry: Views of the News.

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.

NBC tries to get inside David Gregory’s mind, hiring a psychological consultant to ask his wife and friends what makes him tick. How might that translate into higher ratings?  Also, the Supreme Court hears arguments in the Aereo case, publishing criminal mug shots, and reporting on acts of anti-Semitism in the U.S. and abroad. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Mike McKean and Earnest Perry: Views of the News. 


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.

Journalists often end up catching illegal activity on video or in photographs? When should they turn those images over to law enforcement? Also, Sen. Al Franken’s fight against the Comcast-Time Warner merger, coverage the Boston Bombing anniversary and why a big-city newspaper nixed reader comments from its website . From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Jim Flink.

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?

Media criticism and critique from Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean.

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. 

Media criticism and critique from Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons and Earnest Perry, with special guest panelist Lee Wilkins.

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.

  Media criticism and critique from Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean.

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

  Media criticism and critique from Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean.

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.

Media criticism and critique from Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean.

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.

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.