Online News Association Selects Missouri Students for Conference Newsroom

Tracy Cook and Katy Mersmann

Chris Canipe, MA ’10, Will Be Among the Professional Mentors to Guide the Reporting Activities

Columbia, Mo. (July 6, 2015) — For the third year in a row, two Missouri School of Journalism students will be among the 20 who will produce digital media for the Online News Association conference and awards banquet. This year’s meeting will be in Los Angeles Sept. 24-26.

Tracy Cook and Katy Mersmann will work under the personal guidance of professional mentors for the ONA15 website, including Chris Canipe, MA ’10, interactive graphics editor at The Wall Street Journal.

Tracy Cook
Tracy Cook
Katy Mersmann
Katy Mersmann

“Students get to attend one of the most cutting-edge digital journalism conferences and have the opportunity to develop a new network of colleagues and mentors,” said Amy Simons, assistant professor of convergence journalism and the club’s adviser.

Selected from a national pool of applicants, the Student Newsroom immerses undergraduate and graduate college students in a digital media environment by providing hands-on experience. Google provides scholarship monies to cover the students’ registration, travel and lodging expenses.

Cook is a rising senior pursuing a dual degree in journalism, emphasis print/digital news, and economics. She’s spending the summer at The Philadelphia Inquirer as a Dow Jones News Fund editing intern. Cook is a teaching assistant at the Columbia Missourian‘s interactive copy desk and was previously the copy chief for the University of Missouri‘s independent campus newspaper, The Maneater. Cook is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors and was a recipient of the national American Copy Editors Society scholarship and is a Walter Williams Scholar. Her professional interests include business and economics reporting, data visualization, editing and long-form journalism.

2015 Online News Association Conference
The 2015 Online News Association conference will be in Los Angeles Sept. 24-26.

Mersmann graduated summa cum laude in May with her bachelor’s degree and was inducted into the Kappa Tau Alpha honor society. She studied international convergence journalism and will continue her studies in this area this fall as a master’s student in the School’s five-year program. As an undergraduate, Mersmann served as a teaching assistant for the convergence reporting class and reported for the Reynolds Journalism Institute‘s Futures Lab Weekly Update, both positions she will continue. She also worked at Missourian as an infographics reporter and served as the president of Mizzou ONA during the 2014-15 school year. This summer, Mersmann is working at NASA‘s Goddard Space Flight Center as a multimedia intern reporting on earth and planetary science research.

Mizzou ONA provides learning and networking opportunities for students of all ages at the school. Once a month, the club organizes a speaker or learning event, where students can learn more about a specific new or changing area of digital media. Additionally, ONA Mizzou hosts Open Newsrooms, where students are invited to bring assignments or stories to get help and advice from other students. The Open Newsrooms helped answer questions and let journalism students get to know each other better.

Updated: August 15, 2019

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