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Whoa dang

In photography, Texas on April 2, 2011 by Alexandra Browning

© Alexandra Browning 2010

 

I went to Austin City Limits in October, 2010.

Yes, it has been that long since I’ve really uploaded my own pictures.

Get ready.

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Story #8: MU School of Accountancy

In Columbia, journalism, Missouri, Missourian Reporting on January 11, 2011 by Alexandra Browning

The most recent CPA exam scores yielded promising results for the University of Missouri School of accountancy, ranking them 14th in the nation. My article, written with a press release from the MU News Bureau and an interview with School of Accountancy Director Vairam Arunachalam, addresses various honors the school has earned.

The article can be viewed here.

It was interesting to look into the success of schools within the university, especially one that I’ve had limited experience with. The director of the school was incredibly helpful, not only in explaining to me the nuances of the CPA exam and the population used in ranking the school, but also in helping me to accuracy check and edit my work. I appreciate all of the help, and am happy to help communicate the success of the accounting program.

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Story #9: Winter Weather Advisory

In Columbia, journalism, Missouri, Missourian Reporting on January 10, 2011 by Alexandra Browning

Today, snowfall began around 11:00 AM. It’s still snowing. It’s going to keep snowing all night. And tomorrow morning, it’s going to snow some more.

It might stop around noon. If I’m lucky.

That being said, Columbia is under a winter weather advisory until noon tomorrow, followed by a hazardous weather warning through Friday. My article about the winter weather advisory is here.

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Story #7: December Tornadoes

In Columbia, journalism, Missouri, Missourian Reporting on January 10, 2011 by Alexandra Browning

After the series of tornadoes that hit Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois on New Year’s Eve, I met up with some friends and told them I’d been working on the story. My friend J.D., from Alabama, responded “Tornadoes?! In December?!”

This, of course, made me realize that perhaps tornadoes in December are an oddity to some. So, I pitched the idea in budget on Monday morning of the next week, and there you have it. My story on the frequency of December tornadoes in Missouri can be read here.

It was fun to report on something that fascinated me as much as tornadoes do. Growing up in Texas may have had something to do with it, and of course ‘Twister’ the movie, but it was a topic I enjoyed researching. Statistics fascinate me, and I wandered through first-person accounts of some of the deadliest tornadoes on record in the United States. I learned a ton about what really goes into tornadoes, and the information that’s provided about them – a lot more than I learned from Twister.

The National Weather Services was, yet again, a great help and their website provided me with a lot of background.

Articles

Story #5 & 6: Fort Leonard Wood Tornado

In Missouri on January 3, 2011 by Alexandra Browning

On New Year’s Eve, a string of tornadoes hit Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas, killing at least six. One tornado hit Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, a military training facility southeast of Rolla, Missouri.

The article I wrote based on a press release and interview with Division Chief Gale Blomenkamp, at the Boone County Fire Protection District, can be viewed here.

I got to do an in-person interview, and get moving out of the newsroom in order to do the following story with Patrick Fallon, which can be viewed here.

I headed down to Fort Leonard Wood knowing that I was finally not driving around Columbia, aimlessly. I was headed to cover a huge news event in order to better distribute pertinent information about the tornado to those who have been affected.

A personal thanks to the public information officer, Jeff Maddy, for your time and patience in giving me such a thorough interview on a hectic day. Your help was immense in getting the background information necessary to fill out the article, and hopefully helped to better inform the public. Also, a thanks to my fiancée, SPC Eric Reeves, for all the army know-how you’ve bestowed upon me by being a soldier. It was nice to know that I can speak that language.

My condolences go out to the families whose homes were destroyed, and I sincerely hope that you have been comfortably relocated, and will be given permanent housing as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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Story #4: Cinders Update

In Columbia, journalism, Missouri, Missourian Reporting on January 3, 2011 by Alexandra Browning

So, the editor of the Missourian wrote a column raising some questions about the cinder policy in Columbia this winter, which I had hopefully already addressed.

This, of course, prompted a little bit more work on my behalf, to clear up any concerns about safety.

The article that resulted can be viewed here. It showed me that I need to keep in mind what I’ve learned while reporting. By no means am I an expert on cinders, but I’ve talked to plenty of them, and I have to be careful about assuming what my readers know. Also, a lot of people were wording things in strange ways – there is no part of this city that isn’t ‘salt-only’ this winter, so why say that two areas are? The trick was that this winter is the first one for a citywide change in policy, so the wording got muddled.

Hopefully things are now clarified, and we can all enjoy a partly cinder-free winter.

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Story #3: Tasers

In Columbia, journalism, Missouri, Missourian Reporting on December 28, 2010 by Alexandra Browning

Tasers are a controversial topic nationwide, but in Columbia residents have been very proactive about voicing their opinion on the matter and working for change.

A tasing incident in November prompted eight citizens to file a complaint demanding the release of information explaining the course of action taken by law enforcement. After a sunshine request filed by the Missourian, that complaint was released and I wrote an article discussing it’s contents, which can be viewed here.

This was my first opportunity to call the Columbia police department, which went pretty well. Not only did I discover that the Chief of Police is from my hometown, Dallas, TX, but also that the spokeswoman for the department – Officer Jill Wieneke – was great to work with.

I also spoke with some of the citizens that filed the complaint, and was happy to discover that both parties were willing to talk to the press in an effort to clarify the situation. Hopefully, my article can create room for discussion.