Jennifer Moore

News Director & Content Coordinator

As News Director, Jennifer oversees news gathering and production for KSMU-Ozarks Public Radio; in her role as Content Coordinator, she makes sure all programs on KSMU, including those produced locally, nationally, and internationally, flow seamlessly over the air.  She trains the student reporters and announcers and hosts the monthly program Engaging the Community.

Jennifer hails from West Plains, Missouri, and graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Her Master's Degree from Missouri State University blended Middle Eastern politics and journalism. She lived in the Persian Gulf for five years and studied at the American University in Cairo. She has received the Excellence in Legal Journalism Award from The Missouri Bar, a national Edward R. Murrow Award for coverage of the Joplin tornado, and the 2013 Honorable Mention for the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting. In 2019, she was one of 13 American journalists selected as a fellow for the Health Journalism Fellowship in Boston. 

She's the author of "Covering Elections for Smaller Newsrooms: A Template," and is always eager to hear story ideas or feedback from community members and listeners.

Ways to Connect

KSMU - Ozarks Public Radio

Updated with further details at 1:40 p.m. July 9, 2020:  The McDonald County Sherriff's office said via the state's AMBER alert system that two children are missing after being allegedly abducted from 67 Johnson, Southwest City, Missouri at 8:52 a.m. on July 9. 

According to the alert, a four-year-old, white, male named Samuel Padron and an eight-year-old, white female named Genesis Padron were last seen with a white female, age 35, five feet, three inches tall, named Hilda Melendez, who has brown hair and brown eyes.

KSMU-Ozarks Public Radio

At a marathon special City Council meeting where nearly two dozen residents testified, Joplin City Council voted to make masks mandatory in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

 Community members passionately argued for and against the mandate before Council voted to pass the ordinance 6-3 .   

Pixabay - Used with permission

A nursing home in Joplin, Missouri says 13 of its residents have died from COVID-19 related complications, and testing has revealed dozens more residents and staff members have the coronavirus that causes the disease.

Spring River Christian Village is the licensed nursing home battling the outbreak.  KSMU's Jennifer Moore interviewed the CEO of the parent company Wednesday.

You can listen below.


Jake Bell is the president and CEO of Christian Horizons, the parent company of Spring River Christian Village nursing home.

MSU Visual Media / MSU

Missouri State University is mourning the loss of an iconic figure who helped shape the path of the institution, even though she was denied the opportunity to study there. Mary Jean Price Walls died Monday, according to a statement from the university. 

As a teenager growing up in post-war Springfield, Walls was undeniably bright and dedicated: she graduated salutatorian of her high school class, then set her sights on college.

But in 1950, Southwest Missouri State was still an all-white college, due to the racist policies of segregation.

Fernando Zhiminaicela / Pixabay, Used with permission

McDonald County begins its free, two-day community testing event for COVID-19 Friday, June 26.  The far southwestern Missouri County has seen a major spike in new cases of the disease.   

The free testing event for COVID-19 will run from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Friday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday at the McDonald County High School.  That’s at 100 Mustang Drive in Anderson, Missouri.

State health workers and the Missouri National Guard will help conduct the testing event, according to the governor’s office.

File photo, jasleen_kaur / Flickr

McDonald County, one of the state's new hotspots for an outbreak of COVID-19, has announced its first death from the illness, according to a Facebook post by the county health department Wednesday.   The person was 51 years old and had no known underlying health issues, according to officials.

Missouri State University

In this month's episode of Engaging the Community, Missouri State University president Clif Smart gives an update on the unvierstiy's efforts to recruit and retain more diverse faculty members. You can hear the interview below:

Several years ago, Smart said the unviersity looked at the ethnic demographics of its faculty and staff and found people of color were significantly underrepresented compared to the overall population of Missouri.

Theresa Bettmann / KSMU

Jasper County in far southwest Missouri has seen its number of COVID-19 cases quadruple in just 11 days—jumping from 40 confirmed cases on Friday, June 5 to 164 this week, health officials confirm.

KSMU’s Jennifer Moore interviewed the director of the Jasper County Public Health Department, Tony Moehr.  He began by talking about how many of those new cases have required hospitalization so far.

Listen to an excerpt from the interview below:

File photo, jasleen_kaur / Flickr

A new report released by the Missouri Foundation for Health shows that expanding the Medicaid program in Missouri would boost the state’s economy, not hurt it.

The Medicaid expansion issue will be on the ballot August 4 – and if Missourians choose “yes,” then many more people would be eligible for government-paid health care.

KSMU-Ozarks Public Radio

  The Springfield-Greene County Health Department says community members were potentially exposed to COVID-19 when a coronavirus-infected person worked at the McDonald's restaurant at 2811 N. Kansas Expressway over the course of several days.

According to a release from the health department Friday, the COVID-positive individual worked while symptomatic at the fast-food restaurant prior to being diagnosed on the following days:

City Hall

Springfield officials announced Friday a new order that further lifts restrictions on businesses and community gatherings as part of the city's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

This comes the same week health officials in northwest Arkansas and in the southwest Missouri counties of Newton, Jasper and McDonald Counties are reporting a concerning uptick in COVID-19 cases.  

ABA / The American Bar Association

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that this year alone, Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias will cost the United States $305 billion dollars. Those costs are primarily in health care, and they are projected to climb.

But there can be legal expenses, too. 

If there’s one thing experts agree on, it’s that it’s best to be prepared and know what’s available in your region.

So in this segment of our Sense of Community series, Dementia in the Ozarks, we’re looking at legal resources for lower-income and elderly residents with dementia.

KSMU-Ozarks Public Radio

 The Springfield-Greene County Health Department says a COVID-19 positive individual worked as a cashier in a Springfield convenience store prior to being diagnosed with the disease.

Health officials said in a press release the cashier worked at Signal Food Store at 2810 East Battlefield Road and was wearing a face covering.

The cashier worked Saturday, May 30 from 2:00 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. and Tuesday, June 2 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.    The health department said the cashier was infectious both days but only showed symptoms on Tuesday.

Horia Varlan /

Dementia, by definition according to the National Institutes of Health, is the loss of thinking, remembering, and reasoning to the point that it interferes with a person’s daily activities.  Some types of dementia include Alzheimer’s Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, and vascular dementia.  

All this week, at 7:45 AM and 4:44 PM, our Sense of Community series, Dementia in the Ozarks, is diving into this topic from a local perspective.

Gov. Parson's Facebook / Used with permission

Missouri Governor Mike Parson spoke with KSMU's Jennifer Moore this week about the coronavirus pandemic in Missouri.

Listen to the interview here and find a summary below.

Q:  Other than closing doors to visitors, what is the state doing to protect the elderly in long-term care facilities?