Amanda Keim-Morrison

Writer, Web Producer, Creative Problem Solver

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About

Amanda has been a writer, web producer, copy editor, reporter, news curator, and site builder. She has a knack for seeking out and experimenting with new tools to solve problems, and has a history of working with developers to see projects to fruition.

Resume | References

Writing

Amanda has covered health, the town hall beat, education and general assignment stories – and blogs about wizards.

Blogging

Amanda has kept Nerdvana Media’s readers updated about Harry Potter, Newt Scamander and other news coming out of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world since April 2016. See her posts here.

Health stories

6 things to know about Zika
Published Jan. 23, 2016, on PresentNation.com
Alarm was rising as a handful of Zika cases were confirmed in the U.S. and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was issuing travel bans for hard-hit countries in early 2016. Here are the essential things to know about the mosquito-borne illness.

Consumer Electronics Show 2016: Bluetooth pregnancy tests, UV patches and more
Published Jan. 8, 2016, on PresentNation.com
The Consumer Electronics show always has useful and wacky new tech gear on display. Here’s a roundup of some of the noteworthy health items from the 2016 show.

First penis transplants in US planned for wounded veterans
Published Dec. 8, 2015, on PresentNation.com
More than 1,300 servicemen suffered genital injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2001 and 2013. These injuries may not be publicly visible or life-threatening, but experts describe them as “psychologically devastating” – and a new surgery could soon help ease that trauma.

Raise cigarette-buying age to 21 to reduce smoking 12%, report says
Published March 14, 2015, on PresentNation.com
Hiking the tobacco-buying age to 21 across the country would reduce smoking rates 12 percent more than already predicted declines by 2100, a report predicts. The reason? Younger teens would find it harder to get their hands on cigarettes.

Painkillers, heroin help drive rise in drug overdose deaths
Published Dec. 14, 2015, on PresentNation.com
Drug overdose deaths rose 7 percent between 2013 and 2014, with painkillers and heroin playing a role in nearly two-thirds of those overdoses.

Almost over? World goes first week without new Ebola cases
Published Oct. 9, 2015, on PresentNation.com
There wasn’t a single new case of Ebola detected in the three countries hardest hit by Ebola – the first in early October 2015 – the first time that had happened in more than a year. That was good news, but it didn’t mean the Ebola outbreak had officially ended.

PresentNation ceased operations in March 2016. 

Town hall coverage

Queen Creek disputes foreclosure report
Published May 1, 2009, in the East Valley Tribune
Town officials take issue with a foreclosure report conducted by a national agency that lumped them into surrounding foreclosure-ridden areas.

Q.C., San Tan Valley covet hospital’s address
Published Jan. 14, 2010, in the East Valley Tribune
Two communities, one established but growing and the other brand new, try to make the case for a planned hospital at the border of the two communities adopting their address.

5 Queen Creek homes targeted for demolition
Published Aug. 13, 2009, in the East Valley Tribune
Five homes in the path of a flood control project to channelize a wash were expected to be purchased and demolished, a plan that surprised homeowners.

Features

Conjoined twins face heart separation
Published Jan. 31, 2009, in the East Valley Tribune
Emma and Taylor Bailey, conjoined twins who shared a heart, were expected to die long before their second birthday. Their parents decided to have them undergo a risky operation to give them a chance at much longer lives.

US soldier fined for posting classified information
Published Aug. 2, 2005, through The Associated Press
An Arizona national guardsman was demoted for posting classified information on his blog while he was serving in Iraq.

Neighbors band together to get deals on solar systems
Published April 22, 2010, in the Ahwatukee Foothills News
Concern for the environment prompted two Ahwatukee Foothills men to convince their neighbors to buy solar energy in bulk.

Desert may not fully recover from wildfires, ecologists say
Published July 5, 2005, through The Associated Press
Rampant summer wildfires can have a big impact on the fragile desert environment.

Education coverage

Teens turning to medicine cabinets for drugs
Published Feb. 4, 2008, in the East Valley Tribune
A teen’s mom had no doubt he expected to come home the night he died of a prescription drug overdose at a friend’s house. Parents, schools and police alike were concerned about the ease teens have finding drugs to abuse in medicine cabinets.

Drug dogs keep schools clean, officials say
Published Aug. 3, 2008, in the East Valley Tribune
While drug-sniffing dogs brought to Scottsdale school campuses rarely found drugs, police and administrators defend the program as a good deterent.

Christopher Verde: A school district without schools
Scottsdale’s wealthy Troon area didn’t have enough kids to justify forming a new school district, but growth and a new law forced a change. Parents sick of fighting for open enrollment slots were pitted against retirees who didn’t want a property tax increase, resulting in the brief existence of a “transportation district.”
School area picks listed for Troon
Troon-area group split on school district issue
Troon school district woes prompt bill
Verde board member quits
The school district that wasn’t: New law ends Christopher Verde’s short-lived run

Scottsdale considers closing schools
Facing declining enrollment and funding challenges, the Scottsdale Unified School District examined different plans for closing schools – and parents at affected schools responded with their own plans.
Baracy details options for district school closings, shifting students
Scottsdale board: No school closure decisions yet
Pima parents propose alternate plan to closing
Parents turn to Scottsdale over Aztec’s future

Site Building

Amanda has long been interested in how technology and journalism intersect – so when an opportunity to work on a team building WordPress sites designed for media outlets came up, she jumped at the chance. Her responsibilities included:

Troubleshooting

  • Working with developers to document issues, define parameters for potential solutions, and provide quality assurance testing
    Tools used: Jira, Confluence

Documentation

  • Work with developers to understand how new or improved plugins work
  • Developing and documenting processes for using new or improved plugins
  • Writing internal documentation for colleagues to ensure everyone was following best practices
  • Writing external documentation for sites to help customers understand how to use the product
  • Keeping documentation up to date as processes were refined and capabilities advanced
    Tools used: All Import Pro, All Export Pro, Time.ly, Gravity Forms, Google Sheets, Simple Share Buttons, proprietary directory plugin, TablePress, additional plugins

Site Building

  • Building and configuring pages and features
    Tools used: WP Bakery (Visual Composer), CSS, HTML, Simple Share Buttons, Time.ly, Gravity Forms, All Import Pro, proprietary plugins
  • Completing analytics analyses to determine SEO-driven site navigation
    Tools used: Google Analytics

Project Coordination

  • Guiding customers through setting up technical configurations
  • Working with sites to determine specifications
  • Brainstorming and investigating solutions to unique needs
    Tools used: WordPress, Google API Key Console, Time.ly, WSI Weather Widgets, MailChimp
  • Coordinating between sites, developers and the site building team to ensure everyone had the tools and information they need
  • Ensuring sites and team members were sticking to deadlines
    Tools used: Google sheets, Google docs, Jira, Confluence

Quality Assurance

  • Providing quality assurance checks on newly-built sites to make sure pages were complete, links were working appropriately, text was copy edited, i’s were dotted and t’s were crossed
  • Providing quality assurance checks on launched sites to help investigate specific issues
    Tools used: WordPress interface, HTML, CSS, copy editing skills translated to the world of tech

Work samples

NH Magazine’s Brewery Directory
TulsaKids directory listing submission page
WNKY’s Meet the Team page/Bio templates
WMDT’s Weather Page

The Pitch’s newsletter signup page
Georgia Trend’s Georgia Trend Daily page

Editing

Amanda has been a web editor, copy editor and lead editor at her college newspaper. 

Internet Broadcasting (now LAKANA)

Combine a wire editor with a web editor, then put the resulting work on several dozen websites all at once, and you have a taste of the work Internet Broadcasting’s News and Content editors perform on a daily basis. The team provided comprehensive online coverage of national and international news stories for close to 60 local television sites around the country so station editors could focus on local news.

The job involved monitoring news of the day; sending breaking news alerts; packaging, copy editing and posting national stories; copy editing local stations’ pieces; creating galleries and interactives; setting up livestreams; and writing curated pieces covering breaking stories and odd news. Amanda also managed Local Linking, a link-sharing feature promoting our stations’ stories; tracked analytics for Local Linking and stories we pitched to CNN.com; and served as the lead weekend editor, which involved setting and communicating coverage priorities for weekend shifts.

Kolbe Corp/The Center for Conative Abilities

What started as a summer copy editing job turned into a three-year relationship writing and editing materials for Kolbe Corp and related nonprofit group The Center for Conative Abilities, which work to measure human instincts and help people utilize their natural talents in everyday life.

Amanda’s first project was copy editing company founder Kathy Kolbe’s third book, “Powered by Instinct: 5 Rules for Trusting your Guts.” That project morphed into a part-time job lasting the rest of her time in college. She wrote and edited material including white papers and promotional pieces; transcribed audio; and captured and edited video. Her last project was editing a new version of the Kolbe A Index results, one of Kolbe Corp’s core products.

The State Press

Serving as a student editor offers the unique opportunity to both shape coverage for a campus newspaper and become a teacher and mentor to younger students. Amanda had that opportunity at The State Press, the student newspaper serving Arizona State University. She served as editor-in-chief during the 2005-06 school year, overseeing editorial operations and a staff of about 60 students for what was at the time a 22,000-circulation paper publishing five days a week. Prior to that, she was a co-city editor in spring 2005 and a special publications and assistant web editor in fall 2004.

Multimedia

Good storytelling should encompass more than text. When she hears about a new tool for data visualization, or colleagues say, “I wish we could…”, Amanda is game to investigate how tools can be used to tell stories in new ways.

Infographic

7 simple tips for better posture

Interactive

Timeline: Jimmy Carter
Originally published in 2015 through Internet Broadcasting

Audio

Veteran interview: Lee Councilor
Originally published Nov. 9, 2009 at www.eastvalleytribune.com
Featured by the Veterans Listening Project, www.veteranslisteningproject.org

Lee Councilor grew up as a “desert rat” but discovered a love for the sea during 17 years serving on Navy submarines.

Veteran interview: Amy Sheridan
Originally published Nov. 9, 2009 at www.eastvalleytribune.com
As one of the Army’s first female pilots, Amy Sheridan found both support from colleagues who believed she could do anything and harassment for being a woman in a man’s world.

Soundslide

Operation Wounded Warrior
Originally published Oct. 1, 2009 at www.eastvalleytribune.com
Queen Creek’s American Legion Riders Post 129 sets off on its annual ride to visit soldiers at the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego and bring the wounded troops comfort items.