Conference information
Posted: September 21, 2006
Student newsroom

This year's newsroom included 13 graduate and undergraduate students from universities across the nation. Our Web master, Ruxi Giura--a 2005 newsroom alum--holds a master's degree in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University. Dr. Claudette Artwick of Washington and Lee University served as newsroom coordinator/news director, and Jim Van Nostrand, a senior editor at McClatchy Interactive, managed the ONA Web site and mentored our students.

Student journalists

Catherine Andrews, Northwestern University

Sarah Bloom is a senior at Washington and Lee University completing a double major in broadcast journalism and sociology. This past summer, Sarah worked as an intern for CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight at the Time Warner Center in New York. The summer reaffirmed her passion for a good story and exposed her to the plethora of opportunities available in journalism. Upon graduation, Sarah intends to find a job reporting in the broadcast field. Confident in her decision to obtain a sociology degree as well, she knows it will help her relate to her community and its social issues.

Kristin DeIuliis, 21, is an undergraduate student at Towson University in Baltimore, Md. She is majoring in Mass Communication, completing tracks in both Public Relations and Journalism and New Media, and in Political Science. She will graduate in May 2007 with a bachelor of science degree. DeIuliis has gained media experience through a number of internships including positions with Girls’ Life Magazine, The United States Naval Academy’s Office of Public Affairs, and the Carroll County Times, a daily newspaper in Carroll County, Md.

Kaylee Hartung is a senior at Washington and Lee University where she is a double-major in broadcast journalism and politics. She spent the summer as an intern with NBC News in New York. She also worked as a runner during NBC's coverage of the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and contributed photos to Brian Williams' blog, The Daily Nightly. Kaylee was the Executive Editor of Washington and Lee's independent student-run paper, The Trident, in the spring of 2005. She is currently an anchor and reporter for the Rockbridge Report broadcast and online edition.

Mark Luckie is a second-year graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where he is studying multimedia journalism. He is also a part-time online producer at the Contra Costa Times (Calif.) and a freelance Web designer. Mark is a graduate of Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Fla., where he received his bachelor's degrees in broadcast production and Spanish. He is also a former crime and justice reporter for the Daytona Beach News-Journal. An Inglewood, Calif., native, Mark plans to pursue a career as an online producer.

Alan McCombs, 21, is a senior journalism and history major at the University of Maryland who expects to graduate in May. He'll be working part time this semester as a multimedia reporter at Maryland Newsline, an online newsmagazine run by the College of Journalism. He is also an intern with United Press International in Washington, D.C., and reports for The Diamondback, an independent student daily. Last spring he worked as a reporting intern for NEA Today, a publication of the National Education Association. Before that, he worked for various university publications including the Black Explosion and the Public Asian. He can be reached at aj.mccombs@gmail.com

Lindsay Meeks is a multimedia-journalism and radio/television/film senior at the University of Texas at Austin. She worked as a radio DJ at the UT radio station for two and a half years and was the news director one semester. Last year she worked as a new media intern at Texas Monthly doing web development and archival work. This past summer she worked at the San Antonio Express-News as a multimedia intern. Now she is continuing on at the San Antonio Express-News and the Houston Chronicle Austin bureau creating video, audio, and flash projects for the two papers web sites. Recently she began doing some work at the Austin Chronicle as an intern there as well. At UT, she is on the Texas Student Media Board of Operating Trustees where she is hoping to promote on-line journalism throughout UT media.

Shelley Orman, Washington and Lee University

Melissa Pachikara, 31, will earn a master's degree with a specialization in online journalism in December from the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism. She'll be working full time this fall at Maryland Newsline, a newsmagazine run by the college, as a news editor and multimedia reporter. In summer 2006, Pachikara was an editorial intern with the digital media division of National Public Radio in Washington. She was also senior Web producer of the Web site for Intern Edition, a radio show produced and reported by NPR interns. In the spring, she interned with The Gazette newspapers in Maryland, covering East Montgomery County. Before entering the master's program at Maryland, Pachikara was a paralegal specialist for the U.S. Department of Justice. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania in 1997, and a master of arts in writing from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 2002.

Farran Powell is a journalism graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. She has over three years of experience reporting for public radio and has contributed articles to the Colorado Daily and the Daily Texan. Currently, Farran works as a multimedia intern at the statesman.com, building flash interactive packages. She holds a BSc degree from the London School of Economics

Greg Rosenberg, American University, has written not only for the campus newspaper but for the news website, Business News Americas, in Santiago, Chile. He also has had internships with Forbes magazine and has had bylines on Forbes.com.

Rebecca Shillenn, American University, currently is a staff writer for the Scene section of The Eagle and writes feature articles for the SOC graduate office Web site. She's also been published in the American Observer online news magazine, produced by graduate students. She did video and some sound for the campus television news station for a year.

Sara Spangler, 21, will graduate from Towson University in May 2007, one in Mass Communication with a concentration in Journalism and New Media and another in Cultural Studies. This fall, Sara is working two days a week at Baltimore’s WBFF Fox 45 as a newsroom intern. As a freshman at Towson, Sara was appointed News Director of the campus station and has since then been working on the show’s twice-a-week live broadcast doing everything from writing and producing to anchoring and reporting. Sara is a three-time Fraternal Order of Police Memorial Scholarship winner, a Patrick J. O’Connell Memorial Scholarship Winner (one recognizing excellence in broadcasting), and a Dean’s List student for all her years at Towson. Sara can be reached at SaraSpangler@msn.com.

Industry mentors

John C. Abell (www.johnabell.com) was a correspondent and editor at
Reuters for 26 years. He was founding editor in 1996 of www.reuters.com and in
1998 created Reuters' first real-time multimedia news service, delivering
packages of text, pictures, info-graphics and video to hundreds of
Internet sites. John also established multimedia desks for Reuters in Toronto, Montreal, Miami, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires and Mexico City. He is currently a principal at J & J Media Consulting and blogs at Planet
Abelland peepsNet , "Where I continue to invade the privacy of people who used to work for me (and other worthy types)."

Patrick Beeson is a Web standards developer for The Roanoke Times (Roanoke, Va.) and roanoke.com. He holds a Master of Arts in journalism from the University of Alabama ('05), and a Bachelor of Science in public relations from Appalachian State University ('02). Beeson played an integral part in roanoke.com's slew of award-winning multimedia packages including: Jordan's war, Going down The Crooked Road and most recently, Homestand. He also created the staff blogs for roanoke.com, in addition to the TimesCast and Sports TimesCast vlogs. Beeson has been published in Quill magazine, the Tuscaloosa News (Tuscaloosa, Ala.), Equipment World magazine and The Roanoke Times.

Dorian Benkoil has more than 30 years' experience in media, if you count the radio commercial he did for Honda when he was three years old. As editorial director of mediabistro.com, he oversees daily operations and strategy for the editorial properties, including AvantGuild content, blogs, feature stories, and the flagship website. Previously, Dorian was a digital media business consultant for Teeming Media, the general manager of Fairchild Publications' Internet division, a managing producer at ABC News Digital (home of ABCNEWS.com), and a foreign correspondent, reporter, and editor at The Associated Press, Newsweek, and some Japanese TV shows. He's working on an MBA.

Maurice Jacobsen is a media producer/director with 30 years of hands-on broadcast, cable and Internet experience. He is currently a Research Fellow at the American Press Institute’s Media Center and is producing and directing the interactive web site and companion broadcast documentary, Jerusalem: A Living History, funded in part by public television station KQED-TV San Francisco, California, and The Independent Television Service, ITVS. Formerly a staff producer/editor with Video Free America in San Francisco he specialized in new media applications and was involved with a wide variety of projects including the production and direction of the enhanced television documentary series, Expedition 360 commissioned by Discovery Channel Europe and created in association with the American Film Institute’s Digital Content Lab. From the fall of 1991 through 1997 Mr. Jacobsen was senior producer with CityTV, Santa Monica, California. During these years he was directly responsible for the production, direction, and editing of over 100 original news magazine, informational and documentary programs, winning numerous programming awards including four Los Angeles EMMY nominations in the news magazine and documentary categories.

Thom Lieb is Professor of Journalism and New Media at Towson University in Maryland. HIs student-centered projects there including BaltimoreStories.com and JournalistsOnJournalism.com, launching later this fall. He is the author of "Editing for Clear Communication" and the forthcoming "Newswriting for the 21st Century." His online project "Editing for the Web" has been used by journalists and students around the globe. Lieb served as Contributing Editor to the Journal of Electronic Publishing for five years and has written for a number of other online publications.

Robin 'Roblimo' Miller, Editor in Chief of OSTG, is a former taxi driver who started writing non-fiction one evening when his cab broke down and he had nothing better to do. Since then, he has had freelance articles published by over 1200 newspapers, magazines and Web sites, has written three books about technology for Prentice Hall, and has helped build OSTG (owner of Slashdot, Linux.com, NewsForge, freshmeat and SourceForge.net) to its current prominence in IT industry news. His current passion is developing low-cost video production techniques that can be used effectively by citizen journalists.

Carol Schwalbe teaches online journalism and magazine writing at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She also produces the Cronkite School's award-winning online magazine http://cronkitezine.asu.edu. Before moving west in 2002, she enjoyed a long career at the National Geographic Society——senior text editor for National Geographic magazine, senior articles editor for National Geographic Traveler, senior producer for nationalgeographic.com, and editor-writer in the Book Division. She lives in Tucson with her husband, two cats, 13 snakes, and four Gila monsters.

Adnaan Wasey is Associate Editor at The Online NewsHour (the Web site
of PBS's news program The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer) and NewsHour Extra, which provides news for students, lesson plans for teachers, and opportunities for students to publish their views on current events. His work spans education, multimedia production and Web application programming.

Edward Wasserman is the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation professor of journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. Since 2001 he has written a biweekly column on the media for the Miami Herald and Palm Beach Post, which is distributed nationally by the Knight-Ridder Tribune (now McClatchy-Tribune) wire. Wasserman joined W&L in 2003 after a career in journalism that began in 1972. He worked for news organizations in Maryland, Wyoming, Florida and New York. Among other positions, he was CEO and editor in chief of American Lawyer Media’s Miami-based Daily Business Review newspaper chain, executive business editor of the Miami Herald, city editor of the Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, and editorial director of Primedia’s 140-publication Media Central division in New York. Wasserman holds degrees from Yale and the University of Paris, and received his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.

Web master:
Ruxandra Giura is a freelance journalist and Web designer. She holds a master's degree in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University in Washington, D.C., and a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Bucharest, Romania. Giura currently works as a coder at the Project of Excellence in Journalism and has previously interned with Washingtonpost.com, Reuters in Romania and the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire in Washington, D.C. She has also worked for radio and television and produced a bilingual student newspaper.

Newsroom coordinator/news director
Claudette Guzan Artwick, Ph.D., is the author of Reporting and Producing for Digital Media. She is associate professor of journalism in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Va. She heads the Rockbridge Report, a digital news lab in which students in broadcast, print, and mass communication courses produce a Web site and television news program. In addition to her academic teaching and research experience she has served numerous television stations in writing, reporting, research, and technical capacities.

ONA Web master; newsroom mentor
Jim Van Nostrand is a senior editor at McClatchy Interactive, based in Washington, D.C. He manages national news on McClatchy Web sites around the country, including MiamiHerald.com, KansasCity.com, Charlotte.com, Star-Telegram.com and McClatchyDC.com. He was part of a team that shared the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for SunHerald.com's online coverage of Hurricane Katrina.



Back to 2006 conference page

Seventh Annual Conference
and Awards Banquet

October 5-7, 2006
Capital Hilton
Washington, D.C.

Conference chair:
Jody Brannon, MSN.com
E-mail your questions or suggestions.

Next year: The 2007 ONA conference is scheduled for Oct. 17-19 in Toronto. The conference chair is Ju-Don Roberts, washingtonpost.com. E-mail your questions or suggestions.

Newsroom: The 2006 conference Web site was produced by the ONA student newsroom, which is supported by the Gannett Foundation and volunteers from media organizations and academia.

Volunteers: Countless volunteer hours went into planning this conference. Thanks to all who gave generously of their time and ideas.

ONA & Flickr: Did you take photos at the conference? Share them with your peers at the ONA Flickr Photo Pool. Upload your photos and see the images from last year.


Don't know the town very well? Consult our ONA visitors guide for journalists, courtesy of washingtonpost.com.

More useful links:

  • Capital Hilton
  • Directions to the hotel
  • Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Smithsonian
  • Metro map

    The 2006 Online News Association Conference is the premier conference for those who work in, or have an interest in, online media and news. The Online Journalism Awards Banquet honors the very best online journalism produced in the past year.

    The Online Journalism Awards have become the top awards in online journalism. Each year a distinguished panel of judges selects the very best work in nine different categories to be honored at the awards. The OJA Banquet is the event where the awards are presented, and the winners are honored for their efforts.