Columbia, Mo. (Sept. 21, 2022) — Kara Edgerson, an experienced journalist with more than 15 years in the news industry, has joined the Missouri School of Journalism as digital director for the One Newsroom and assistant professional practice professor. As of Aug. 1, Edgerson oversees and seeks to further unite the digital efforts of the professional media outlets in the One Newsroom, enhancing their collaborative potential.
“Kara’s skills as a manager, news veteran and digital storyteller make her the ideal choice to lead the One Newsroom’s digital operations,” said David Kurpius, dean of the School of Journalism. “Her contributions will help the School continue to play a leadership role in moving the industry into the future of collaborative, multiplatform journalism.”
Edgerson comes to Mizzou after managing digital optimization teams at Gannett for nearly four years. Now, on the front lines of the School’s push to foster collaborative work between each of the professional news outlets on campus, she will work to identify additional opportunities for the outlets to work together on digital content by leveraging the shared space of the One Newsroom.
She has a bit of a head start when it comes to collaboration with one of her key partners at the One Newsroom: she worked with Elizabeth Conner Stephens, executive editor of the Columbia Missourian, in an early role at the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer more than a decade ago. She will now work closely with Stephens and the leadership of KBIA-FM, KOMU-TV, Vox Magazine and Missouri Business Alert to help coordinate their digital products.
“Elizabeth and others have done so much to connect everyone in this space, so this is about complementing that work, starting with the digital teams,” Edgerson said. “I’ll be working with the teams at each of these newsrooms to assist them in digital best practices and find new ways for them to work together.”
Coordinating efforts between several news outlets operating in different mediums is no small task, but Stephens believes Edgerson’s previous experience speaks for itself.
Kara Edgerson, an experienced journalist with more than 15 years in the news industry, has joined the Missouri School of Journalism as digital director for the One Newsroom and assistant professional practice professor.
“Kara is able to think big picture while doing the day-to-day things that keep us moving forward as well,” Stephens said. “Coming from a digital operations role at Gannett where she was working with multiple newsrooms, working with five newsrooms is nothing for her. It’s great that she is able to bring that experience to the table.”
Edgerson will also be a key part of enhancing the One Newsroom’s function as a laboratory for engineering the future of the journalism industry, according to Professor Mark Horvit, director of the School’s State Government Reporting Program and another central figure in the operation of the One Newsroom.
“Her work will lead to more collaboration and experimentation, helping us better serve our audiences while also developing strategies that can be used by others in our industry,” Horvit said.”
Her role includes teaching a course on social media and audience strategies, which, like much of the School’s curriculum, immerses students in applied practice in the One Newsroom and in the School’s ad agencies. She brings a combination of higher education and industry experience to her teaching: In addition to her time in news editing and management, she previously taught editing and design at Auburn University.
In fact, the opportunity to work with students both in the newsroom and in the classroom was an important part of her decision to come to the School. A Kansas City native, she attended Hampton University — an historically Black university in Virginia — for her journalism degree. In moving toward the next stage of her career, she was drawn back to Missouri by the School’s hands-on, Missouri Method approach to education.
“Seeing from afar the amazing talent that has come from the program over the years, it’s an honor to join the team and be a part of shaping our future journalists,” she said. “Having that connection with students is something I’m really interested in, and it has already been fulfilling over the past few weeks.”
Updated: September 28, 2022