Recent journalism graduate Cortlynn Stark says she spent so much time at The Standard, she started keeping a toothbrush there. As the 2018-19 editor-in-chief of Missouri State’s award-winning, student-run newspaper, she built on her experience as a reporter and news editor.
To reach her goals for The Standard, she expanded beat coverage. This meant assigning reporters to sustained, in-depth coverage in specific areas, such as sports. “It drives story ideas,” Cortlynn says, and helps reporters develop expertise and resources within their assigned beats.
The opportunity to make such decisions — and such impact — is part of what drew her to Missouri State.
“I loved the journalism program because I knew I could get hands-on experience,” she says.
Another big draw? Affordability. Cortlynn, a Kansas native, qualified for the Midwest Student Exchange Program, which made Missouri State more affordable than universities in her home state.
Cortlynn fully leveraged her time in college, gaining a broad range of professional experiences, including an internship at the Christian County Headliner and a job as web producer and assignment editor at KOLR10. And of course, there were all those days spent at The Standard.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the last 4 years at this student newspaper,” she tweeted when her final issue as editor-in-chief went to press.
Tonight, I sent @TheStandard_MSU to print for the last time. Be sure to pick up our last issue of the semester while you’re still here. I’m incredibly grateful for the last 4 years at this student newspaper. Here’s a thread about the wonderful people I’ve been working with: 1/ pic.twitter.com/fTjAB7jeN9
— Cortlynn Stark (@Cortlynn_Stark) May 7, 2019
The Washington Post and The Indianapolis Star
Now, Cortlynn is building on her education and experience with two new challenges. First, she’ll head to Washington, D.C., for a 10-week internship with The Washington Post.
“It’s always been a dream of mine,” she says.
And once this internship is complete, she has another lined up at The Indianapolis Star.
With such unique experiences on the horizon, she’s happy the structure of Missouri State’s journalism program encouraged her to develop proficiency with a wide range of reporting styles and techniques.
“I love breaking news and getting the story out as fast as possible. But I also love more long-form, in-depth stories that take a little longer and require a little more investigation,” she says. “I’m lucky I’ve had opportunities to do both.”