Katie Hynes
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Katie Hynes

Katie Hynes

Katie Hynes is a proud student of the Missouri School of Journalism and is majoring in Radio and TV Anchoring and Reporting with an emphasis in sports. She will graduate in May 2016.

Stories by Katie Hynes in 2015 include:
Stories by Katie Hynes in 2014 include:
Katie Hynes's Tweets @MDNnews in 2015

  • 01/20/2015: A bill that would lower the lifetime limit of food stamps was heard today in the senate. http://bit.ly/1DxpI1b
  • 01/20/2015: Limiting food stamps could negatively impact people who suffer from domestic violence. http://bit.ly/1C70Sqk
  • 01/20/2015: The state's welfare system is called a 'downright failure' by a Senate committee chair sponsoring a welfare bill. http://bit.ly/1C73XXm
  • 01/29/2015: Governor Nixon describes economic benefits to trading with Cuba. http://bit.ly/1DxpI1b
  • 01/29/2015: Gov. Nixon will be going to Cuba the first week of March http://bit.ly/1LnCHb6
  • 02/03/2015: One committee passed an abortion bill onto the floor after hearing testimony about two other abortion bills. http://bit.ly/1DxpI1b
  • 02/03/2015: A bill that requires women to watch an educational video about abortions is passed to the floor #MOLeg http://bit.ly/1vr7mQe
  • 02/10/2015: Senate Judiciary Committee heard concerns about monitoring devices. http://bit.ly/1DxpI1b
  • 02/10/2015: The Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence has some concerns about a monitoring device bill http://bit.ly/16Or3W9
  • 02/12/2015: Gov. Nixon answered reporters lingering questions at Thursday's MPA lunch #MOLeg http://bit.ly/1A1Ofee
  • 02/17/2015: Missouri Senate begins conversations on the school transfer bill. http://bit.ly/1DxpI1b
  • 02/17/2015: Missouri Senate begins conversations about a new school transfer bill #MoLeg http://bit.ly/1CG3Gd5
  • 02/24/2015: There is bipartisan effort in the Senate to change when a cop can ues their weapon. #MOLeg http://bit.ly/1LB6E4O
  • 02/24/2015: There is bipartsian support in the Senate for restricting police use of deadly force. #MOLeg http://bit.ly/1Bb1QSA
  • 02/26/2015: Gov. Nixon's spokesman Scott Holste tells MDN he has no "additional information to provide" about Nixon's cancelled trip to STL. #MOLeg
  • 02/26/2015: House to hold prayer service for State Auditor Schweich. http://bit.ly/1DxpI1b
  • 02/26/2015: Senate leadership sends their "heartfelt prayers" to Schweich's family. #MOLeg
  • 02/26/2015: Missouri lawmakers react to the passing of State Auditor Tom Schweich. http://bit.ly/1DxpI1b
  • 03/11/2015: Missouri Senate gives first-round approval to medical malpractice bill. #MOLeg http://bit.ly/1B4Oy53
  • 03/17/2015: One mother shared the story of the death of her only child due to a drunk driving accident. #MOLeg http://bit.ly/1HYvhZ0
  • 03/17/2015: One Senate committee heard testimony for bill that would increase the charge of providing alcohol to minors. http://bit.ly/1DxpI1b
  • 03/17/2015: A Senate committee passed three bills to the floor that would determine when police can use deadly force. http://bit.ly/1DxpI1b
  • 04/14/2015: After a day long debate there is still no answer for what to do about MoDOT. #MOleg http://bit.ly/1FIoIqv
  • 04/21/2015: The Senate postpones voting on a bipartisan bill that would change when officers can use deadly force. http://bit.ly/1DxpI1b

Katie Hynes's Tweets @MDNnews in 2014

  • 09/03/2014: The Missouri Legislature will not override the Governor's veto on payday loans. http://bit.ly/1hUyD5k
  • 09/03/2014: Missouri Legislature will not be voting on payday loans http://bit.ly/Z7vhF4
  • 09/05/2014: Missouri Legislature will not be overturning payday loan bill during the veto session. http://bit.ly/1CzlhUq
  • 09/10/2014: House overrides Gov. Nixon's veto on tripling mandated abortion waiting period http://bit.ly/1hUyD5k
  • 09/11/2014: Missouri Senate adjourns for the evening upon abortion bill override. http://bit.ly/WMznkc
  • 09/24/2014: Many divisions of Missouri's government are monitoring the transportation of hazardous material across the state. http://bit.ly/1hUyD5k
  • 09/24/2014: Missouri lawmakers respond to public concern over transportation of crude oil in Missouri. http://bit.ly/1wLKoPG
  • 10/01/2014: A spokesman for the Missouri Health Department says if Ebola comes to Missouri, they will work with the CDC. http://bit.ly/1hUyD5k
  • 10/01/2014: Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will work with the CDC if Ebola is spread to the state. http://bit.ly/YPAscr
  • 10/13/2014: Missouri representative plans to give power to attorney general in deadly police officer shootings. http://bit.ly/1hUyD5k
  • 10/13/2014: Missouri repesentative plans to put power into the Attorney General's hands after deadly police shootings http://bit.ly/1o8b0e5
  • 10/22/2014: The leader of one Missouri teaching unions attacks the Board of Education in a letter calling for openness. http://bit.ly/1hUyD5k
  • 10/22/2014: Missouri NEA President wants openness with the selection of the new Commissioner of Education. http://bit.ly/1yZyuWn
  • 10/29/2014: Veterinarians learn about Ebola while pursuing their degree. http://bit.ly/1hUyD5k
  • 10/31/2014: Local veterinarians could know more about Ebola containment than physicians. http://bit.ly/109Y0co
  • 11/03/2014: The Missouri Secretary of State has released the estimated voter turnout for the midterm elections and its low http://bit.ly/1ociP2c
  • 11/10/2014: A retired judge tells the commission with the power to change salaries that judges are happy their current pay. http://bit.ly/1hUyD5k
  • 11/10/2014: Missouri's Salary Commission hears an argument against boosting salaries for judges. http://bit.ly/1yrYeaa
  • 11/12/2014: One Missouri organization wants the Attorney General not to appeal the courts rulings on gay marriage. http://bit.ly/1hUyD5k
  • 11/12/2014: More than 3,000 Missouri residents are asking the Attorney General not to appeal gay marriage ruling. http://bit.ly/1pSpzU6
  • 11/17/2014: Turkey shortages will not effect Missouri residents' turkey dinner. http://bit.ly/1hUyD5k
  • 11/17/2014: Turkey shortages this year are not raising Thanksgiving prices in Missouri. http://bit.ly/1qQ5cSj
  • 12/15/2014: The number of athletes who sustained a concussion continues to be on the rise in Missouri. http://bit.ly/1hUyD5k
  • 12/15/2014: High school concussions are on the rise among Missouri teens. http://bit.ly/1suvCKd
  • 12/15/2014: Gov. Nixon shows off muddy area of the Capitol basement to garner support for funding repairs. http://bit.ly/1zZmWln
  • 12/17/2014: The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced a new Commissioner of Education http://bit.ly/1x0YCAu

Katie Hynes's Blog in 2014
Pants in Time for Winter

Posted 11/14/2014:  Monday night was the first night that I felt like I was a core member of the MDN team, and it's all because I was trusted to lock up alone. Typically there has always been a senior with me when I'm working late and getting my stories approved by phone. This time, it was just me.

It took me a while to grasp the story of a meeting I had covered so I was there working late. When the last of the seniors packed up to go home I wasn't paying attention to my surroundings, I was focused on my work. When I went to grab the phone I looked around paused for a moment. I was the only one left in the newsroom.

Being alone did not frighten me, it assured me. I stopped because in that moment, I realized that I was trusted to be by myself. It was nice to know that I'm trusted to use the recording equipment and lock up all by myself. I felt big and important. Some might say it's the moment I got my MDN big girl pants! Which is perfect, now that there is snow in the forecast.

The Importance of Proofreading
Posted 11/07/2014:  While I was writing radio wraps this week I was having issues understanding how to word what was happening. When I thought I had it figured out I turned in my drafts for approval. Unfortunately I did that without rereading them first, and it was a big mistake.

All three had major errors. When restructuring sentences I accidentally left words in places that I had meant to delete them from. Other sentences just grammatically didn’t make sense. Some sentences were similar to a toddler’s structure of sentences. Others, sadly, resembled how an alien from the Men in Black movies my brothers used to love would talk.

I was horrified at myself when I realized what I had done. It was not an accurate portrayal of how I can write. From now on I will always read the radio wraps out loud before turning them in. That way, I will be able to hear how it sounds and fix any grammar errors that I don't notice when reading in my head. This will lead the structure of them to be listener friendly.  

The Importance of Ending a Game of Tag
Posted 10/10/2014:  For years I have played phone tag. When my friends and I first got cell phones in middle school we would call each other after school. When one of us didn't answer it would begin the game of phone tag. It would continue back and forth until we were actually connected and could catch up on what happened on the bus ride home.

Now that I'm older I still find myself playing phone tag. As a reporter there are many times where I will have to call sources multiple times before I can get a hold of them. There are days when it seems I go back and forth with potential sources leaving voice mails and hoping someone will get back to me. It is a constant game that is played in any newsroom.

This week I learned a valuable lesson about leaving messages: don't. Messages can be easily ignored, a phone call cannot. If I talk to a secretary I usually ask to have a message passed along to who I want to speak with and what the story is about. If instead I ask when a convenient time for the source is, I can call back at that time and become another reminder. Thus ending the game of tag.

When I worked as an administrative assistant I had to be careful where I put phone notes for my boss. If I put them on top of important folders the notes would be tossed aside so that he could get to the information inside the folders. While he never read the notes carefully, he noticed the names. What grabbed his attention most the amount of times a person called in the day. The ones who called the most would most often get a phone call get. 

The same theory still applies here. If I call repeatedly, I have a better chance of having a source to talk to instead of voice mail box. Hopefully it will forever end my game of phone tag.

Remaining Calm in the Storm
Posted 10/03/2014: 

Close to seven years ago I moved from the west coast to Missouri. There were a lot of things that took some adjusting to: living in a landlocked state, green lake water and weather. The weather in Missouri has been the most difficult hurtle to overcome since moving. Having grown up with earthquakes people are often confused as to why tornadoes bother me so much. Earthquakes make sense to me. If the Earth shakes something will fall. Tornadoes are caused by wind, the wind that flies kites and can blow leaves off a tree. I've gotten better while living here, but I will always get to the safe place when I hear the sirens go off.

This week there was sever weather across mid-Missouri. I had the opportunity to learn the tornado safety procedures in the state Capitol. While we were working on our stories we had a live stream of a news station describing the weather patterns so if needed, we could move to the basement. For a while it seemed fine. The dangerous parts of the storms were off to the west and it seemed as if the storm was going to weaken before it reached Jefferson City. All of a sudden a hook was approaching Jefferson City and a wall cloud was spotted near the Capitol. 

Quickly we gathered our things and headed into one of the conference rooms in the basement. Luckily all it turned out to be was a severe thunderstorm and no one was hurt. Later as I getting ready to merge onto the highway to head back to Columbia the radio stopped playing music and switched to a severe weather alert. The meteorologist said a wall cloud was seen to the west of Jefferson City and that everyone should be cautious of the storms. Unlike in the newsroom I was by myself and began to slightly panic. I quickly turned around and went to a restaurant near the Capitol building and waited out the severe weather. When I was in the restaurant I was able to calm down. Being inside and off the road was an immediate relief, but being around other people also comforted me. I learned that in a crisis I am good in a group, but that maybe I shouldn't be by myself if I can avoid it.

Top Five Thoughts that Pass Through Your Head When Getting a Story Approved
Posted 09/26/2014: 

This week it took me until nearly the end of the day to get my three radio wraps approved. After working on the story for almost two weeks, I wanted to make sure they were perfect before turning them in to be approved. This led to me calling my editor at home to get my radio wraps approved. These were the top five thoughts that popped into my head during our conversation.

1. Maybe I should read this again before I call. You finally found the right phone number and remembered how to dial out of the office. However as the phone hits the first ring, you start to wonder if what you wrote is understandable.

2. Take a deep breath. Always before reading a wrap. Also when reading the wraps. You can't read if you don't have oxygen. 

3. Slow down! Sometimes I get nervous and read too fast. I needed to remember to rest, and breathe. 

4. Silence is golden, right? The pause after you finish reading your wrap is the longest three seconds of your life.

5. Oh yeah! I'm the (wo)man! Getting those stories approved totally made my day.

After I got off the phone I laughed to myself and wondered why I had been so nervous. It was no different than handing my story to the editor. What I was most concerned was not seeing the editors face while reading it. Face to face conversation is still my favorite way to edit but technology is fine in a pinch. Lesson learned this week? Calling to get a story approved is slightly nerve wracking, but totally worth it in the end.

Experience is the Best Teacher
Posted 09/19/2014: 

This semester will mark the third semester that I've been enrolled in journalism classes. I thought for sure that I had basic grasp of how to interview. From my limited experience I have learned how to prepare questions ahead of time, make sure all equipment that you need is properly working, and know the directions to where you're going ahead of time. Classes are great learning environments, but nothing is better than actual experience. I've learned a lot these past few weeks reporting for MDN, but this week I learned a valuable lesson about interviewing.

While researching the transportation of crude oil throughout Missouri I thought what sources I could get quotes from. I found a contact for one of the railroads that transports oil in Missouri and a man from MoDOT who is in charge of trains. Both men had different views of the transportation industry: commercial and safety.

After interviewing both men I saw a pattern in their responses. The pair of them wanted to get across the message that the main goal of their organizations is safety and prevention. I thought that tied the story into a pretty red bow and would flow nicely.

What I should have realized sooner was that this was the same side of an issue. Both men were sure that they had the appropriate steps to prevent an accident in Missouri. What I should have been concerned with was finding a different opinion of oil transportation.

This week I learned a very valuable lesson in journalism. I learned that two perspectives are not the same as two sides. In all honesty, I'm a little disappointed in myself that it took till first semester junior year for me to learn that difference. From now on I am going to think of different opinions of the situation instead of different perspectives.

How to Survive a Veto Session
Posted 09/12/2014:  Wednesday the legislature reconvened for the veto session. This is the one time a year that the House and the Senate come together out of session to override the governors vetoes. This veto session promised to be a long one due to the number of bills Governor Nixon had vetoed. The newsroom was told dress our best, to be prepared for a long day. With that I felt a tad unprepared about what was going to happen. Having lived through a veto session, I can some surprising things I learned from the veto session.

Lawmakers don't sit in silence. While a bill is on the floor, members of the House and Senate can individually rise and speak about their thoughts on the bill. While one member is speaking to the floor, I thought lawmakers would sit in rapt attention. However this is not the case. In the House lawmakers turned to other members sitting around them and would talk throughout the entire time the bill was on the floor. Some members would choose not to be in the room until it was time to vote. It was an adjustment to the preformed idea of how voting works in the legislature.

2. Gavels are very loud. During the veto session I jumped guard when House Speaker Tim Jones called for order. I heard the gavel from the press gallery, and assumed that someone had dropped their bag on the floor behind me. I thought I had just been startled out of deep thought, but the next time the gavel was struck I was startled again! The point of the gavel is to call the floor to order, and to rouse the press out of their concentration as well.

3. Coffee is your best friend. Wednesday is typically a long day, for no other reason than its the halfway point of the week. As a coffee lover, I definitely always have at least one cup a day. For the veto session, I needed many more. The Senate adjourned slightly before 1a.m., and the House adjourned after 1a.m. Caffeine was my crutch to staying alert and focused throughout the late evening. 

Working during the veto session was a big learning curve. It was a day that required energy and focus. I learned a lot about the importance of deep breathes. At the end of it all, I am very grateful that I got to cover it. The hustle and bustle of the Capitol building was extremely enjoyable. I can't wait to see what the rest of the semester holds!

Missouri Digital News is produced by Missouri Digital News, Inc. -- a non profit organization of current and former journalists.