Columbia, Mo. (Oct. 27, 2004) — Master’s student Ross Todd is the 2004 recipient of the David Kaplan Memorial Fellowship, which is awarded each year to one Missouri graduate student who specializes in broadcast producing. Todd will be the thirteenth David Kaplan Fellow.
David Kaplan was a producer for Sam Donaldson at ABC News when he was killed on assignment in Sarajevo in 1992. Donaldson, one of the nation’s premier broadcast journalists, participated in the selection process.
Todd will work as a production intern for ABC News in Washington, D.C., next semester while fulfilling the professional component of his master’s project. He will work with field producers for both radio and television projects.
“I am excited, and I know it is going to be a challenge,” Todd said. “D.C. is the only town with more journalists than Columbia, and a lot of people are there to spin the news. Trying to make something meaningful out of that is important.”
A native of Paducah, Ky., Todd has gained valuable convergence experience as part of the hands-on training provided by the Missouri School of Journalism’s media outlets. He is currently working in a paid position at the Columbia Missourian, the city’s morning paper, as an assistant city editor. The ACE positions are competitive and given only to some of the best journalists-in-the-making. Todd is a contributing writer at Vox, a weekly city magazine, and is the morning anchor for KBIA, a National Public Radio member station owned and operated by the University of Missouri. He also produced in-depth stories for KOMU-TV and KBIA as part of a convergence project examining the impact of the Iraq War on families living on and around a Missouri military base.
Recently, Todd was one of 10 finalists for the Chandler Award for Student Reporter of the Year in Religion News contest sponsored by the Religion Newswriters Association. His entries, “Building a Holy House,” “Living in the Presence of Swami” and “Soul Searching” were published in the Missourian and Adelante, a monthly bi-lingual Spanish newspaper. This fall Todd was awarded the Larry Lee Scholarship, given for a student who writes with compassion about the human condition. Larry Lee, MA ’87, was murdered while working in Guatemala in 1999.
Todd plans to work as a reporter after graduation either in newspaper or radio. He eventually would like to pursue more long-form projects through magazine writing or documentary work.