Katy Mersmann

Multimedia Producer

Taking in Some Arctic Air – NASA Earth Expeditions

by Katy Mersmann / SKIES OVER ALASKA AND CANADA / The Arctic Boreal and Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) covers 2.5 million square miles of tundra, forests, permafrost and lakes in Alaska and Northwestern Canada. ABoVE scientists are using satellites and aircraft to study this formidable terrain as it changes in a warming climate. In some ways, NASA’s DC-8 feels like a commercial airplane, with its blue leather seats and tiny bathrooms in the back. But once the plane starts to spiral down over

In Arctic Tundra, It’s Getting Easy Being Green – NASA Earth Expeditions

As I walk up the Alpine Trail in Denali National Park, I can see the vegetation changing before my eyes. Deciduous plants, like willows and smaller shrubs, start huge, as tall as my head and shoulders. But as the trail leads up, and as the altitude grows, the vegetation shrinks. Over the course of the roughly 1,300-foot elevation gain, the plant life gets shorter and shorter until suddenly it’s almost gone—we’ve reached the tundra. By climbing up the side of this hill, we’ve mimicked traveling

The Fact and Fiction of Martian Dust Storms

For years, science fiction writers from Edgar Rice Burroughs to C. S. Lewis have imagined what it would be like for humans to walk on Mars. As mankind comes closer to taking its first steps on the Red Planet, authors' depictions of the experience have become more realistic. Andy Weir's "The Martian" begins with a massive dust storm that strands fictional astronaut Mark Watney on Mars. In the scene, powerful wind rips an antenna out of a piece of equipment and destroys parts of the astronauts' c
RJI | Reynolds Journalism Institute

How we created our Futures Lab update in a vertical video format | RJI

From the beginning we knew we wanted our report on non-horizontal video to be presented in a vertical frame. This would enable us to provide an example of how an entire show would look in that shape, since few news organizations have deliberately created video this way. (The closest things we could find were the square videos in places like Instagram, Vine, Facebook, etc.; vertical content posted in SnapChat, which contains mostly on-the-scene footage; and a single vertical video example posted
MIZZOU Women in Media

Q&A: Stalking and Moving On

As women in media, we often face unique threats to our well-being and safety, both in person and online. That’s why we’re hosting Stepping Up Safety: A Panel on Personal Security in the Field and Workplace on October 7. Leading up to the panel, we’ve asked industry professionals to share their stories, advice and personal experiences. Lola Alapo works in public relations for a university in the South. Before transitioning to PR, she worked for a newspaper as an education reporter, where she was
MIZZOU Women in Media

We Belong Here, From ONA15

As women in media, we often face unique threats to our well-being and safety, both in person and online. That’s why we’re hosting Stepping Up Safety: A Panel on Personal Security in the Field and Workplace on October 7. Leading up to the panel, we’ve asked industry professionals to share their stories, advice and personal experiences. Last weekend I attended the Online News Association’s annual conference in L.A., where more than 2,000 journalists gathered to discuss the future of digital media
MIZZOU Women in Media

"Can I Say Sexism?": Leading Women in Media on the State of Things

Monday was a whirlwind day at Mizzou — the Missouri Honor Medals, when the J-school recognizes people and organizations for distinguished service to journalism. This year, we asked three of the medalists to join us for a panel about women in the media. Led by Pulitzer Prize-winner Jacqui Banaszynski, the panel featured freelance reporter and author Barbara Ehrenreich, editor-in-chief of CNN Digital Meredith Artley and long-time New York Times copy editor Merrill Perlman.
CNN

What does 'healthy' mean for my child?

Introducing healthy habits early can make a big difference on your toddler's health later in life. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a big part of a child's obesity risk is established by age 5. But what does "healthy" really look like for a 2- to 5-year-old child? Should you be counting calories or hitting the gym(boree)? And if your kid is a picky eater -- as most are -- how can you ensure they're getting the essential nutrients? A recent study published
The Chart

Flu drugs may not be worth stockpiling

Tamiflu, commonly used to reduce flu symptoms, may not work as well as the federal government believed when it spent more than $1.3 billion stockpiling it. The Cochrane Collaboration, a nonprofit network of health practitioners, researchers and patient advocates, recently analyzed 46 clinical study reports on Tamiflu and another influenza drug called Relenza to determine their effectiveness. The researchers concluded that while both drugs can stop adults' symptoms about half a day earlier, on
ONA Student Newsroom

From Shakespeare to Snapchat: Classic ways to captivate your audience | ONA15 Student Newsroom

Amy O’Leary of Upworthy told us what we can can learn from Scheherazade, Shakespeare and Star Wars. From Homer to Han Solo, the stories that endure in human memory do so because they tell us how and why we live and help us become better, wiser and more empathetic people. If you missed it, you can relive the experience here in our Storify of her Thursday morning session.
ONA Student Newsroom

Horizontal Video or Bust! Or Not? | ONA15 Student Newsroom

Are you holding your phone vertically or horizontally? For most trained journalists, the answer is always horizontal. The 16×9 video format is practically an imperative. But with the advent of mobile and social media content, so-called traditional videos are becoming less common. “How people are consuming this content is changing so you have to assume the way people are viewing it is also changing,” NowThis News’ Dhiya Kuriakose said.
ONA Mizzou

ONA Mizzou: Understanding technology for journalism competence

When I was in Washington this semester, I was fortunate enough to attend the National Press Foundation awards dinner with my fellow Mizzou journalism students. Wolf Blitzer was honored at the ceremony for a lifetime of dedication to journalism. During his remarks, he told an anecdote about learning to type with both hands at the same time while he was working for Reuters. My entire table of students was aghast. Blitzer was hired by a big, successful news agency without even basic typing skills.