Megan McGinnis
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Megan McGinnis

Megan McGinnis is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Columbia.  She is pursuing a major in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Political Science.

Megan is from Chesterfield, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.  She started in journalism by writing for her high school's newspaper.

Some of her hobbies include exercising, reading, watching sports, and traveling.

After graduation, Megan would like to pursue a career as a sports reporter/anchor or attend law school.

She started at MDN in January 2011.


Stories by Megan McGinnis in 2011 include:
Megan McGinnis's Blog in 2011
Week 13

Posted 05/08/2011:  I can't believe I only have one day left at the Capitol, the whole experience went by really fast.  Last week was not near as exciting as I thought it was going to be, I guess everything fun happens on Tuesday and Thursday.  On Monday, I did not have a story.  I cannot remember the last time that has happened, oh well at least I got to go home early.  On Wednesday, I went to the House in the morning and the afternoon.  They passed the voter id bill, so I ended up writing a story about that.  I cannot wait for this week to be over.  One more day at Jeff City, two more finals and I'm done................ until Monday the 16th when I start summer school.  Anyway it will be nice to have one weekend when I don't have to worry about homework.

Week 12
Posted 04/30/2011:  Wow, I cannot believe there are only two weeks left of school and working at Jeff City.  The whole thing has gone by in a blur.  However, I think these last few weeks will be exciting with the end of the legislation session coming up.  Things are already getting busier in the newsroom.  Wednesday was filled with puppy madness.  Governor Nixon signed the new dig breeding law bill and everyone was running around like chickens with their heads cut off.  I got up to get a cupcake and almost got run over by at least three people.  That's pretty funny though considering I was about the only person not reporting on anything relating to digs that day.  I wrote a story about a bill that would allow for the expansion of charter school's.  It was really interesting, I did not know before that currently charter schools are only allowed in the cities of St. Louis and Kansas City.  Last Monday was pretty laid back though, I did a short little story on the Governor lifting some of the laws concerning debris removal for tornado victims. 

Week 11
Posted 04/17/2011:  There is only about a month left of school and things are starting to get super busy.  There was so much stuff going on at the Capitol this week, I ended up writing three stories. On Monday I covered a meeting of the Senate redistricting committee, they ended up passing the House map onto the Senate floor.  After going to that meeting it is obvious that not everyone is going to be happy about whatever map they end up using.

On Wednesday, I immediately went to the House when I arrived.  They discussed pay day loans and the dog breeder law.  Both were fairly important so I ended up writing a story on each of them.  The dog breeding story was pretty interesting, the vote was close so you can tell a lot of people feel strongly about the issue.  Well there are still three more weeks of hard work to do, but I am really looking forward to going home for Easter next weekend and then summer break.  

As of today there are seven more days until I will be reunited with my favorite food, french fries.  I decided to give them up for lent and it has been really tough.


Week 10
Posted 04/09/2011:  Spring Break is over and it is time to get back into the swing of things at the state Capitol.  It was a pretty busy week and a lot of big things are starting to happen.  Between Monday and Wednesday I am pretty sure that I spent about 7 hours in the Senate, and pretty much nothing newsworthy happened.  I did not write a story on Wednesday despite siting in the House and Senate for four hours.  On Monday, at the senate leaders press time they discussed the unemployment benefits filibuster, I ended up writing a story about that.  However, I wish I would have known more background info. 

Week 9
Posted 03/26/2011:  Spring Break is finally here!  I cannot wait for a week of sleeping, eating, hanging out with awesome family and friends, watching basketball, and watching baseball.  I finally decided to take the plunge and play fantasy baseball this year, hopefully my fantasy baseball team wont do as poorly as my NCAA tournament bracket did!  With the elimination of Ohio State last night I have now lost all of my final four teams.

Before I could leave to enjoy my break there was one thing left I had to do, finish my feature.  Writing it was really not that bad, i was a little intimidated at first that it had to be four minutes long.  But once I started writing and pumping out what I needed to say, I realized I probably had enough information and sound bites to write a ten minute piece.  I was thrilled that I found a central compelling character, in a mom who's daughter had been previously overweight.  Overall, I think it turned out pretty well.  Looking back on it, I which I would have found a doctor to ad a more professional opinion to the causes and consequences of childhood obesity.

I love Columbia, but I think it was time for scenery.  Now if only the weather would cooperate, it is snowing....................again. 


Week 8
Posted 03/19/2011:  There is one week left until spring break and I could not be more excited.  Unfortunately, I still have a couple of projects due and one big test before I get to go home. 

On Monday I had to do something scary, write a print story.  I was terrified when I was told I was going yo have to write a print story.  I wrote for the newspaper in high school and I did not like it, which is why I am going into broadcast.  Looking back on it, it really was not that bad.  Luckily for me I got a topic I knew a lot about, HB 213 the late term abortion bill.  This was the fourth story I wrote on this bill.  The coolest part was that my story actually got into the Missourian, who would have ever thought I would actually have a story published in a real newspaper?

Wednesday was a very stressful day, I went to the Senate for two hours and nothing happened so we had to find a new story.  I ended up doing a story about protesters who were at the Capitol to speak against the possible repeal of Proposition B.  The story was rather bland and boring, but I found out how bad I am with technology.  I could not figure out how to get the marantz to charge and it kept on dying whenever I tried to interview people, it was terrible and I only got one decent soundbite.  I really wish I had a thumb for technology, it would cause me so many less problems in life.

Week 7
Posted 03/12/2011:  Spring Break is finally in sight, its only two weeks away and the temperature outside is much improved over the last few weeks.  My enterprise story is starting to come together.  On Monday, I interviewed the director of a weight loss camp.  She was interesting to talk too, she knew what she was talking about and has actually proven that her camp helps children loose weight.  Now I just need it to warm up so I cam get some nat sound of kids playing outside.  

On Wednesday I went to the House, and they held an extended debate on HB 213.  The bill would almost ban all late term abortions, except in medical emergencies.  I am quite familiar with this bill, this is the third story I have written on it.  The best part of the day was I got to leave at 4:45, that's a new record.  Unfortunately I just got to go home earlier and study for two midterms on Thursday.

Week 6
Posted 03/05/2011:  There was not much going on again this past Monday.  I went to a hearing of the house Workforce Development Committee, they were discussing two bills.  One was going to change prevailing wage, and the other made it so employers have to have written consent from the employee before putting part of their paycheck towards political campaigns.  We decided that neither of the bills were newsworthy, from the testimony it seemed the only people who cared were builders.  Since that fell through, I had the rest of the day to work on my enterprise story.  

My enterprise story is about childhood obesity.  I called and e-mail a lot of people asking for interviews, however most of them will not answer me back.  So far I have had two interviews.  One was with the physical education director if Columbia Public School's, and the other was with their nutrition director.

On Wednesday I did an interesting story about student athletes and concussions.  It was a little strange because they were hearing three separate, but related, bills at the same time. 

I learned a lot of new and interesting information about concussions.  I never knew what a devastating impact just a head injury or two could have on a child's life.

Week 5
Posted 02/25/2011:  Well another week has come and gone, with everything from shorts to snow.  Monday was a president's day so it was pretty dead at the Capitol.  I worked on my enterprise story most of the day.  My story is about childhood obesity in Missouri.  I did some research but I could not really talk to anyone due to the holiday.  On Monday afternoon I went to the house, it adjourned after 30 minutes and all they did was introduce a bunch of boy scouts.

On Wednesday I covered the hearing on the bill to ban red light cameras.  The hearing was really interesting and there were some people who were really passionate about the subject.  However, both sides of the argument had witnesses who contradicted each other.  Some proponents of the bill said that camera lights have no effect on traffic accidents but some opponents testified that they did.  Also there were lawyers for one side saying the cameras are constitutional and then a lawyer would come up and say they are not constitutional.  The hearing was super long, but it must have been really important because there were lots of press people there.  It is going to be interesting to see what happens with this bill, both sides had very compelling arguments.

Week Number 4
Posted 02/18/2011:  Yet another week of reporting at the Capitol has come and gone.  Overall, I think I am getting more comfortable with the process.  On Monday I wrote a story about HJR 6.  That joint resolution would require all union votes to be taken by secret ballot. 

On Wednesday I attended an executive session of the House Health Care Policy Committee.  They were voting on HB 213, which would basically ban all late term abortions except in medical emergencies.  The Committee passed the bill by a vote of nine to one.  I was kind of happy that the vote was not unanimous, it gave me something more to write about.  After the session ended I had my first technological disaster of the day.  I went up to interview the Representative who voted against the bill, and apparently I had the mic plugged into the wrong hole so we got no audio.  It was so embarrassing to have go find her in her office and get her quote again.  I learned the ever important lesson of making sure your equipment is functioning before you try to record something.

I think I am getting more comfortable with interviewing people as well.  At first it was really tough for me to go up to strangers and ask them questions.  Everyone I have talked to so far has been really nice.

I also came to the realization this week that I know next to nothing about state government.  Last night I read a packet about covering the legislator, after reading the packet I realized so many things I should have said to make my stories better.  Hopefully I can take the knowledge I learned in the packet and apply in to my work next week.

Overall, it was a pretty good week, I mean how could it be bad it was 70 degrees outside.  However, I was disappointed about the story I wrote on Monday.  Looking back at it, I think I missed the point and why the story is newsworthy.  I will try to take what I learned this week and write way better stories next week. 

Second Week
Posted 02/10/2011:  This was my first real week working at MDN.  I was really nervous to write my first story, but I think it all went ok. 

On Monday, I did a story which was supposed to be about salt shortages in Missouri.  I went over to MoDOT offices and I talked to their spokesman about the potential shortages.  I was really nervous to do the interview, but he was really nice and helpful.  I found out that the state of Missouri actually has plenty of snow for the remainder of the winter season.  The actual writing and producing of the story did not go nearly as quickly as the interview.  It took siting in the newsroom all day to realize just how bad I am at technology.  I am so lucky that there are so many helpful people in the newsroom to help me out with the computers and radio equipment.  Finally, around six on Monday I completed my first radio story. 

Wednesday went smoother and much faster.  I wrote a radio story on House Bill 213.  I went to a health care committee hearing on this bill two weeks ago and they did not discuss it.  The bill would aim to end almost all late term abortions.  I did not really have a clue how big of a deal this bill was until I walked into the hearing.  The room was packed and there were reporters from various TV stations, radio stations, and newspapers.  I thought it was interesting how lopsided the testimonies on the bill were.  There were four or five people who testified in favor of the bill, and only one who opposed it.

The writing and producing of the radio piece went much smoother this time.  The only problem I ran into is that the bill was a little confusing, I think at first I didn't quite understand what the bill was changing.  I got everything done much quicker, but I still need to learn more.  

I learned a lot this week, about producing radio stories and state government.