Amanda Lee Myers is a digital news reporter and social media curator for The Associated Press in Los Angeles. She finds shareable stories before they become viral, shoots her own video packages and photos, has been integrating a 360-degree camera into her work and curating social media promotion for AP’s California reporters. From wearing a GoPro while riding down a glass slide 1,000 feet above downtown Los Angeles to shooting 360-degree video at the Oscars, Myers loves creating distinctive content that helps AP stay ahead in the digital age.
In 11 years at the AP, Myers has covered some of the biggest stories in the country, including the terror attack in San Bernardino, the officer-involved death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore and the subsequent protests, and the 2011 mass shooting in Tucson that killed six and wounded 13 others, including Rep. Gabby Giffords.
Myers began her AP career where she grew up, in Phoenix. She developed beats covering immigration, the death penalty, crime and courts. Myers was one of the first reporters at the scene of the Tucson shooting. She regularly broke news in the days and months that followed and developed key sources among the survivors and in the sheriff’s department, winning her AP’s Beat of the Week award.
In July 2012, Myers moved across the country and began working in the AP’s Cincinnati bureau. There, she delved further into legal affairs, leading coverage of the gay marriage fight in Ohio and how that played into the broader national battle.
After two years in Ohio, Myers moved to Washington, D.C., and began working as a breaking news supervisor in AP’s Mid-Atlantic bureau, where she was responsible for writing, editing and filing news to four state wires. She also began developing a law enforcement beat covering 80 police agencies, which included extensive coverage of the Freddie Gray case.
Myers most enjoys identifying cases of interest that aren’t being covered, particularly those that involve excessive use of police force, wrongful death and discrimination.
Her work led Myers to discover the case of a former longtime Ohio police captain convicted of killing his ex-wife in 1997 largely based on a bite mark found on the woman’s body.
Myers then spent four months working on a national investigative piece about bite mark evidence and its use in the criminal justice system, including interviewing forensic dentists who testify in court cases and had never before agreed to speak with reporters. The result was a story about how the use of bite mark evidence has led to 24 exonerations across the country, including men who had spent decades in prison and on death row.
Slate called the piece “tremendous” and wrote that “stories like these are good reminders that forensic science has made significant progress in recent years.”
Born in Toledo, Ohio, Myers mostly grew up in Arizona after her parents fell in love with the desert on a vacation. She graduated with honors from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in 2005. She has a minor in Spanish.
Myers has run 12 half marathons and is planning to conquer her first full in 2016. She also looks forward to doing a 20-mile round-trip hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon in October and traveling Japan for the first time. She’s working on writing her first screenplay.