Rowan's Kostic making her mark in online journalism

Rowan's Kostic making her mark in online journalism

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Named one of the nation's top 100 student journalists, Rowan's Emily Kostic has  found both her calling--and her future--in online journalism.
Emily Kostic wasn't even born when alternative rock band Timbuk3 recorded its big hit, "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades."

But that 1986 song aptly describes Kostic's burgeoning journalism career.

Here's what Kostic, a rising senior journalism major at Rowan University, has recently accomplished:

- Named one of the nation's 100 best student journalists by UWire, the Associated Press-like news service for college newspapers;

- Landed a coveted summer internship in the web department of the BBC's New York City headquarters;

- Won a second-place New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists award for her blog, Journalism 3.0.

Clearly, Kostic is well on her way to making her mark in journalism, a field that some people say is dying. Not so for the 2006 graduate of Delran High School.

In online journalism, she says, she's found both her calling...and her future.

 "I feel like the job I'll be doing in online journalism doesn't exist yet," she gushes. "I love that the rules of online journalism are changing, that it's moving so fast."

A writer since middle school, Kostic fell in love with online journalism while taking her first course with Rowan professor Mark Berkey-Gerard.

In his Online Journalism I course, Kostic was required to start a blog.

"I decided to blog about online journalism," she says. "Through that, I've made a lot of great connections."

Kostic's blog, Journalism 3.0, was so successful--and so personally gratifying--that she kept it alive well after the class finished. The blog recently won second place in the Independent Blog category of the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists Awards.

Berkey-Gerard says Kostic is among the top journalism students he's encountered. Journalism 3.0 addresses online journalism, college media and the journalism industry. The blog, which uses the tagline "The future of journalism according to a member of the Facebook Generation," can be found at www.emilykostic.com.

"For six years, I supervised interns at GothamGazette.com," Berkey-Gerard says. "We attracted top students--from Columbia, CUNY and NYU--and I worked with hundreds of great undergraduate and graduate journalism students. I can say without reservation that Emily is among the best."

Berkey-Gerard nominated Kostic for the UWire honor, which recognizes the 100 top student journalists in the nation.

Kostic is an example of a "mojo" journalist, a new breed of mobile journalist who, because of their writing, storytelling and technological skills, are changing the face of news.

Kostic, who does video and audio, sees her work as going a step beyond even that.

"We're taking it from mojo to producer journalists," says Kostic. "Journalism majors need to learn everything, and not just the obvious stuff. They need to learn coding and technological things."

Kostic's technological skills-and her blog-helped her land her summer internship in the web department at the BBC in New York City. She'll spend the summer working there--and sleeping on the couch of her 90-year-old great aunt, who lives in Manhattan, an experience in and of itself, she laughs.

For Kostic, who visited England last year, the BBC is a dream come true. She also has held internships with US Weekly and Philadelphia magazine.

"I have an obsession with British culture," she says. "I am beyond excited about the opportunity to be working with some very talented people and some fellow anglophiles. I like what they do online in Britain."

Involved with The Whit, Rowan's student newspaper, since her freshman year, Kostic served as web editor and managing editor last year and spearheaded a movement to improve the paper's online presence. She joined with student journalists from six other colleges and universities-including Syracuse, Penn, and Swarthmore-to form Co-Press, a non-profit organization that assists college newspapers' online efforts.

The Whit was Co-Press' first client. This year, Kostic takes over as editor-in-chief of The Whit, which has a dozen paid staffers and about 30 staff writers.

"I want to make The Whit more web-focused and I would like to focus more on enterprise stories," says Kostic, who is pursuing concentrations in Honors and women's studies at Rowan.

"I'm really interested in telling stories, in getting to the truth of the matter."