By Kate Greer
Columbia, Mo. (Oct. 16, 2006) — Jia Zhou, a Missouri School of Journalism master’s student, is the 2006 recipient of the David Kaplan Memorial Fellowship.
The fellowship, which is awarded each year to one Missouri graduate student who has an interest in broadcast production, includes a paid position at the ABC News Washington Bureau and a $10,000 stipend during the winter semester. Zhou will be the School’s first convergence journalism student and second international student to receive the fellowship. The School has named 14 David Kaplan Fellows.
The fellowship honors the memory of David Kaplan, a producer for Sam Donaldson, one of the nation’s premier broadcast journalists. Kaplan was killed while on assignment for ABC News in 1992 in Sarajevo. Donaldson participates in the selection of Kaplan Fellows.
“ABCnews.com is the first U.S. news Web site I read in China,” said Zhou. “At that time, I admired the storytelling style on this Web site, and I dreamt of getting access to its inner system and learning more advanced journalism knowledge from it.”
Zhou worked as a reporter in her native Shanghai, China, for three years after graduating from Fudan University. At Missouri, she has gained valuable convergence journalism experience through the hands-on training provided by the School’s media outlets, including KBIA, one of the most successful NPR affiliates in the country; KOMU, the only university-owned, network-affiliated commercial television station in the United States that uses its newsroom as a working lab for students; and the Columbia Missourian, a community newspaper that also serves as a working lab for Missouri Journalism students. Additionally, she has worked on a strategic communication team as a member of Mojo Ad, the School’s student-staffed professional-services advertising agency.
Upon graduation in May 2007, Zhou plans to work as an online editor of a media Web site.
Mike McKean, associate professor and chair of the convergence journalism emphasis area, said Zhou impressed the selection committee with her varied journalism talents.
“She’s very nimble,” McKean says. “She can easily jump from topic to topic and from skill set to skill set, depending on what is necessary for each story.”
Zhou says she’s looking forward to spending a semester in Washington, D.C.
“It is the political center of the United States,” says Zhou. “I believe I will get full access to American culture there.”
Kate Greer, of Marshalltown, Iowa, is a senior in the strategic communication emphasis area with a double major in psychology. Kate will graduate in May 2007 and plans to attend law school. She is a member of the University of Missouri’s cross country and track team.