Ferguson's effect in the Heartland - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Ferguson's effect in the Heartland

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The violence is in Ferguson, but some say the effects are spreading to the Heartland.

"We're going to go to ballpark village, we're going to walk around and go to the arch, we're going to go to the game that night," said Iris Nanney.

Nanney is one of the many people from the Heartland who say they're planning to go to St. Louis over the next few days.

Whether it's for a Cardinals or Rams game, some fans told us they were second guessing their trip after the week of violence in Ferguson.

But Nanney said her family is still going.

"It doesn't really bother me, we're going to go and have a good time," said Nanney.

The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission issued a statement.

In part, it reads: “We have assured those potential visitors that hotels, visitor attractions, restaurants, parks, transportation companies and other components to the tourism infrastructure in our region are not affected by the encounters between concerned individuals and the police department in Ferguson.”

This week's events are also affecting students as they go back to school.

Southeast Missouri State Communication Assistant Professor Tamara Zellars Buck said this can be a teaching moment for future journalists.

"It's an opportunity to say here's where we got it right, here's where we made mistakes and missteps and what would you have done differently," said Zellars Buck.

Wesley Lowery is a Washington Post journalist arrested Wednesday night in a Ferguson McDonalds.

Some of SEMO's aspiring journalists actually know Lowery first hand. He spoke to students last year.

Now, they're following his Ferguson coverage.

"I think it's a good experience for my students to have had that contact that we were able to provide this emerging journalist who is now the center of this story," said Zellars Buck.

Zellars Buck also spoke about how she appreciates journalists that share their personal accounts, but acknowledge that they are there to cover a specific story.

"I think it's important that we not forget what the original story,” said Zellars Buck. "From a journalism stand point it becomes difficult to separate yourself from the story, or not to become the story."

She also said it will be interesting talk about this in her communication law class, because of all the instances of news gathering.

"News gathering not just by the press but by the public," said Zellars Buck.

Zellars Buck said she will talk to her students about the importance of a deadline and how to post online often in a multimedia world.

"This is no different than teaching an educator classroom management skills, you have to take real life examples you have to put them in situations sometimes," said Zellars Buck.

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