Open Missouri Team

Founder and project manager

David Herzog led the development of Open Missouri as a 2010-2011 fellow at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute. He is an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and serves as the academic adviser to the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting.

Herzog edits Uplink, NICAR's online CAR newsletter, and wrote "Mapping the News: Case Studies in GIS and Journalism", published by ESRI Press. He is a native of Bethlehem, Pa., and graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia with a bachelor's degree in radio-television-film.

Before joining the faculty of the Journalism School in 2002, Herzog spent nearly 15 years as a newspaper reporter or editor, specializing in investigations. His most recent newsroom post was as an investigative reporter for The Providence Journal in Rhode Island.

Web developer

Jamie Stephens has been designing and developing simple, usable software for the Web for more than 10 years. He formerly directed the software division at LANIT Consulting and helped start the Center for eResearch at the University of Missouri. At LANIT, Jamie led the team that designed and developed Foliotek and helped guide it to become one of the leading portfolio assessment tool among colleges and universities in the country. In 2007, Jamie founded Blueroot Studios, a small consulting company focused on developing cool and enjoyable software. Blueroot Studios has designed, developed, and deployed solutions for Miller's Professional Imaging, Reynolds Journalism Institute, and others. In 2009 Jamie launched Book'd, an online scheduling system that allows small businesses to accept and manage appointments with their customers.

Social Media Intern

Stephanie Kinney is a student at the Missouri School of Journalism with an emphasis in Strategic Communications. She is originally from the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. She also works at Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group as a social media intern where she maintains websites, writes entertainment and news stories, edits video and is involved with the Street Team. After graduation, she hopes to work in the music industry in either advertising or public relations.

Former Reporters

Dan Claxton is originally from Springfield, Mo., and returned to the University of Missouri to pursue a master's degree in journalism. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications and spent the following 25 or so years in the radio industry, working in several capacities, most notably in news.

He was news director at six Missouri radio stations, most recently at KFRU-Columbia and taught newswriting at the Missouri School of Journalism for several semesters as an adjunct instructor. Claxton's academic interests include journalism and the law, particularly the rights and responsibilities of journalists. He also enjoys American literature, history and the study of old roads.

Rosellen Downey is a student at the Missouri School of Journalism, pursuing her master's degree in News Media and Society.

Originally from Santa Cruz, Calif., she worked in the entertainment industry for five years before graduate school. Most of her time was spent with The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles. In her free time she enjoys swimming, reading and riding the train.

Jeremy Essig is a former master's student at the Missouri School of Journalism, where he studied print journalism. Earlier, Essig worked as a reporter and editor for Missouri Digital News, a wire service in Jefferson City that serves the Columbia Missourian and KMOX radio as well as other smaller papers throughout the state.

In addition, Essig has worked as a reporter for the Columbia Business Times and as a data analyst for the National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting. He holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Wake Forest University.

Caitlin Giddings got her master's degree at the Missouri School of Journalism in spring 2011. Originally from Prairie Village, Kan., she graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in Speech, Language and Hearing.

Giddings spent the last eight years working in the bicycle industry as a bike messenger in Portland, Ore., and a cross-country bike tour leader with the Adventure Cycling Association. Her non-bicycle interests include blogging, podcasting, magazine writing, literary nonfiction and marathon running.

Stevie Mathieu received her master's in convergence journalism from the Missouri School of Journalism in spring 2011. Before coming to Missouri, she worked for two years as a daily newspaper reporter in southwest Washington state, where she covered education, the environment, courts and the 2008 state legislative session. After that, she worked for one year as contributing editor to a small newspaper near Seattle.

In the summer of 2010, Mathieu reported about aviation safety as a national News21 fellow, and her stories were published on She is a reporting fellow at the Sunlight Foundation in Washington, D.C. She was born and raised in Washington and earned her bachelor's degree in 2006 from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma.